The Bakersfield Christian High School campus is beginning to look a little more like its old self again, albeit on a smaller scale and with a few safety precautions in place. 

The school welcomed back a small group of students beginning Monday for a two-week ACT/SAT prep summer school course. About 14 students are on campus daily, with 10 others participating in the same course via Zoom. 

Schools are one of the sectors permitted to open under Stage 3, which Kern County entered earlier this month.

Summer school director Rachel Welch said the decision to welcome back some students on campus was made by following local and state guidelines and after restrictions were loosened. However, a signed COVID-19 waiver form was required for students.

"When you come on campus in the midst of these tumultuous times, you need to have this waiver signed," Welch explained. "There is a risk factor in even coming on campus and you’re willingly doing that at that moment."

For the 14 students participating in Steven Chai's in-person course, they're getting a firsthand look at what back-to-school procedures could possibly look like. 

Students are required to wear masks and have their temperatures taken once arriving on school grounds. They also lather up on hand sanitizer before entering a building or classroom. These guidelines were shared with families prior to coming on campus so that there would be no surprises, and so far Welch said there have been no complaints.

Inside the ACT/SAT prep course, tables are spread out and facing one direction, with one student per table. Normally, two individuals would be seated at a table. A classroom with a collapsible wall was chosen to house the students since it allows for additional space, Welch said.

Looking at the small crowd Wednesday, physically distanced and wearing multicolored face masks, students appeared back in their old routine, and even happy to be in class, even if it came during summer break.

"I personally missed being at school because I feel like I learn better in the school environment," said junior Mikaela Bidart. "I was excited to come back because I knew it'd be easier."

Conquering distance learning wasn't always the easiest task, Bidart explained, especially when taking an online ACT/SAT prep course. Often it was hard to see problems shown on screen.

By attending Chai's class in person, she can see him work out math problems firsthand, ask questions and not worry about a laggy internet connection that could cost her a detailed equation explanation.

Even though she has to wear a mask and follow other safety guidelines in class, Bidart said she doesn't mind since "I don’t feel like I'm in danger or endangering others."

"I feel it’s easy to get used to, and I know that's what we have to do, It doesn’t seem like a big problem because I’d rather be at school than stay home," she added.

Junior Tom Pickett also expressed things don't feel too different, even if he's more spread apart from classmates. "It is way easier to focus, it’s impossible to pay attention online." Being back on campus also felt "excellent," he said.

Chai also said being in the classroom and teaching in person has been a nice change of pace. After eight weeks of online instruction, in-person lessons, even with COVID-19 mitigation efforts in place, offer an easier way to monitor students' progress, learning feels more authentic and engagement is better.

"It's good, it's exciting, it's refreshing" to be in class with students again, he said. "Students are willing to jump through the hoops."

Welch said this is the only course this summer that will be offered in person, while others will continue being available virtually.

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.

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(9) comments

Zeppo

It's pretty simple. Either you like mobs burning building and attacking people and statues to erase our history, or you want law and order, which would be to vote for Trump. Pretty simple, really.

Zeppo

Great to know that Christians are teaching their children non-BLM, non-progressive values

Masked 2020

for the haves........not the have-nots........ https://www.bakersfieldchristian.com/admissions/tuition--fees

Moardeeb

President Trump TODAY said "it's just like the sniffles"

You know Christian's just LOVE their President! He is the chosen one. Cult.

Zeppo

Moardeeb: Whereas yours is the devil...…..

Veritas

I think ‘deeb and yuckies have said they are Scientologists. Would explain a lot.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

No Dweeb, here's what he actually said:

"So, we have more cases because we do the greatest testing. If we didn’t do testing, we’d have no cases. Other countries — they don’t test millions. So we’re up to almost 30 million tests. So when you do 30 million, you’re going to have a kid with the sniffles, and they’ll say it’s coronavirus — whatever you want to call it."

I'm not a water carrier for POTUS, but I grow weary of people posting outright lies about him. To be honest, I felt the same way when Obama was POTUS and he was attacked with the most ridiculous claims by the fringe right.

In the long run, dishonest rhetoric really doesn't help us as country- it only serves to continue the division on multiple fronts, which diminish us as a society...

Veritas

GPC, ‘deeb doesn’t care about this country or the people in it. It wants to be divisive and stir discontent for some sick reason. Spreading half truths and sometimes outright lies is their MO. What’s sad is that some people may buy into their malarkey, and such propaganda must be refuted.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Poor (pun intended) Yuckies- would you like a warm glass of milk and a silk handkerchief to cry in?

I can assure you not every family at BCHS is part of the "have" side; lower income families are eligible for financial aid- although nobody has their tuition entirely paid for (like other private schools), which ensures everyone has skin in the game...

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