Students return to new rules and regulations

Public school students across Palm Beach County returned to in-person learning on Sept. 21. However, with new procedures and regulations in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the campus they returned to looked a bit different than the one they left.

At Jupiter High, most hallways are now one-way, to minimize crowding, with signs and arrows directing students where to go. Students, faculty and staff must wear masks at all times, except when eating breakfast or lunch. The mask must cover both the nose and mouth and be at least two layers thick. As well, the one lunch period has been split into two lunches in an attempt to avoid crowds, and the school added over a dozen new picnic tables in the courtyard to allow students to eat outdoors. The outdoor dining tables, in addition to those in the cafeteria, have been marked with Xs to guide students as to where to sit to social distance.

In a detailed letter to parents and guardians, principal Dr. Colleen Iannitti outlined the new rules and regulations. She stated that students must bring a mask to school and are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer, tissues, water and their own school supplies, as supplies are not to be shared.

“Neck gaiters, fishing buffs, open chin triangle bandanas, and mesh material, valves, or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings,” Iannitti said in the letter. “Facial coverings are in addition to, and not a substitute for, the required social distancing.”

Iannitti also asked that students have a device to use for electronic work and Google Meets if put in an “overflow” room; this would occur if an assigned classroom has too many students to properly social distance. The school is providing each student with a Chromebook, even if they have their own device.

In an effort to keep symptomatic students at home, Dr. Iannitti said that students must “self-screen and not come to school if experiencing any of the following–cough, fever, sore throat loss of taste or smell, and any other flu-like symptoms.”

If a student has symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus, they will be isolated in the clinic until they can be picked up by an authorized adult. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, their parents must call the school to report the illness within 24 hours.

For the full list of rules, read the letter here.