Burlingame reopens its doors to students

Jacob Lubarsky, Copy Editor

Today Burlingame held its first day of hybrid-learning instruction, allowing some students to return to campus — marking the first time most students returned to Burlingame for instruction since last March.

The system for hybrid-learning consists of two student cohorts, divided by last name. Cohort A, which came to school today, consists of students whose last names are between A-Le, and Cohort B, who will return to campus on April 2 whose last names are between Lf and Z. 


On campus, several adjustments were made to keep classrooms and outdoor spaces as Covid-safe as possible. In the A Building, hallways are divided in half, each with one side directing students to walk in opposite ways, and students are sectioned off by grade level during lunch to limit the interaction between students. 

“I’m excited to see my teachers, and it’s nice to talk to friends, so that’s great,” freshman Sam Bender said. 


For most freshmen, this was their first time on the Burlingame campus, excluding a tour of the school given to them just a week prior. Freshman Olivia Fleming was excited to finally be on campus, after having only seen her classmates through a computer screen.


“I just think it’s really nice being here,” Fleming said. “I think everyone’s been wearing their mask, and I’m really strict about social distancing.”

Class sizes were another major change on campus. No classrooms accommodated more than 12 people, with the most classes being no more than 10 people.


“I had third-period Calculus AB, and honestly, it was pretty nice,” senior Yota Inouye said. “There was less than 10 people in the class and I got to have one-on-one help from [my teacher].” 


At school, there are marked entrance and exit doors, and every student must verify that they have not had any COVID-19 symptoms recently through the LiveSafe app . The app allows them to record their health on the website every day before they enter the school.


Students are also required to sanitize their desks, and follow the same bell schedule that they have followed throughout this year,, which includes 15 minute passing periods. Some teachers were not able to return to school, so their students on campus attended their class  from the library or cafeteria.

In class, students are on laptops, where they participate in their regular Zoom calls in the classroom, rather than at home. Seating is spaced six feet apart and windows remain open in all rooms to allow proper ventilation. Some classrooms have a monitor that projects the Zoom call so in-person students can see their classmates that are at home that day. Despite these tweaks to the typical learning environment, the first day of this new system was a success among students at school. 


“I’ve had a number of students just talk about how excited they are to be back. You know, it’s been a year and we’ve all done our best, but it’s really warming and exciting to see students back in class,” principal Paul Belzer said. “Students are really conscientious about how they’re moving through the day because we’re all kind of reliant on each other.”