High School Changes Covid-19 Regulations for Lunch and Study Hall

Olivia Moody, JP student writer

High School Students found new covid regulations for lunch and study hall last week.

The school made the decision to change the regulations after four students, sitting at a table without masks, had to be quarantined.

Vice Principal Rob Sinclair replied to the change saying, “We had to go from four to a table, to just two to a table, because those tables from across are about six feet across.” 

After getting information from Polk County Health, the school decided to make the regulations more intense. 

Sinclair responded,“When we found out that students sitting four to a table wasn’t going to meet the guidelines for, you know, safe distancing. That’s when we made the change.”

After finding out this information, the school limited two students per large table, and one student per small table and booth. While still leaving the plexiglass dividers for additional mitigation. Because of the crackdown, the school had to add additional tables, and open up the gym for seating during lunch.

Even if the quarantine cases decrease, Sinclair says, “I don’t think we’ll change back. The reason is, we didn’t really change because of the increase of cases, we really changed because of the new information we got.” 

Study hall has also been impacted by the new regulations.

Like lunch, before last week students could sit four to a big table, now they have to sit two to a table.

Kate Rutledge, the study hall teacher, says that overall students are being very respectful of new rules. Study hall looks a lot different this year because of the seating. But, Rutledge has learned to adapt and go with the flow.

While North Polk Staff agree that these changes are for the better, lots of students disagree. 

Junior Lilli Hintzsche, says, “The person I sit by in the gym I’m closer to now.”

Even though lots of students agree that this change has not helped keep students safe The school wants everyone to know that they’re working to keep everyone safe. 

Sinclair wants students to know, “Although, sometimes what we have to do to meet those guidelines are rough on our students, rough on our staff. You know, we’re trying to do everything we can to, you know, make the process, and at least the environment is safe.”