Over the last four years, we have become so used to the new office that we quickly forgot what it was like to have separate high school and elementary offices; now we have to go back to the old way again. Potosi School District includes students from 4K all the way to high school. The whole school is connected in one building. Now that school has been disconnected and has become two schools because of the risk of spreading a virus that can kill people.
The elementary and high school are split into two separate schools because of the risk of having the elementary students and the high school students transferring COVID back and forth. The elementary students and high school students cannot be next to each other. With the separation of the schools comes the need for an elementary secretary as well as a high school secretary. The high school secretary, Michelle, headed to the elementary; meanwhile Tami Jo stayed as a high school secretary. Tami Jo stated, “We had to move different things such as file cabinets, files, Michelle’s computer, phone, office things, had to go through different things that went with her to the elementary side into her new office.” Also, a divider wall by Michelle’s office was put up so no elementary students could come down to the high school. Not only did the dividing of the school make it hard to control the school, but also it took a toll on how closely Tami Jo and Michelle worked together. Tami Jo stated, “I miss Michelle. It’s hard being in the office by yourself, but I am making the most of it.”
Having two offices has not happened in the school district since we remodeled and built the extension on the school for the new auditorium. There was a new office built and a new main entrance, so they combined to have two secretaries in one office. Tami Jo misses being able to go to the elementary side and having the elementary students come in the main office. “I miss the elementary students, and seeing them was the main reason why I came back to work”.
There are several new tasks Tami Jo needs to do in the office to make sure it runs appropriately. “Mostly I have to do things with COVID like cleaning with lysol wipes, and spraying, making sure the students are checked for fevers if they come in not feeling the best, asking for their symptoms, if we have to, we need to contact parents and send students home. Plus if they have siblings, they go home as well. I also have to hand out masks to students who need a mask.”
There are many aspects of having and keeping a school open during a pandemic. Adjusting to two separate offices is just one of the many obstacles the school, students, and faculty members have had to overcome.