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Ferguson Opens its Doors at Limited Capacity

Just like many schools in the county, John A. Ferguson Senior High School is opening its doors to the students who chose to come back to school physically in early October. Students and teachers have been informed of the procedures to follow in order to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 within the school. With some students staying home and others coming back to school physically, professors and students must get used to this new normality in which we are living in.

October 7th was the start date for freshmen and sophomores who chose physical school, while juniors and seniors came back on October 9th. With these dates established, the school started preparing everything to welcome back its fellow falcons. Many changes have been implemented for the safety of students at school. Of course, each student must wear a mask and preserve at least 4 feet of social distance from each other, according to the CDC guidelines. Also, instead of two lunches, there are now three with the idea of avoiding crowded areas, and preserve social distancing in the best way possible. Only three students are allowed per lunch table, both inside and out of the cafeteria. Areas where students cannot sit are marked with a sign that reads: “DO NOT SIT HERE”. The tables are arranged to seat two students on one side of the table and one on the other, with a final result of a “V Shape” (two sitting in each corner respectively on one side, one sitting in the middle on the other side). Sanitization stations have been set all around campus. In these areas, students are going to be able to use hand sanitizer any time they may need it.

With the idea of expanding the distance between the students when walking throughout the school, the administration has posted signs on the wall asking to walk just in the direction shown by signs. Also, there are specific doors for entrance and exiting buildings, and specific stairs to go down or up respectively. For example, Building 2 hallways will all be one way from east to west on all three floors, and “Orange” and “Green 3” stairs only go up, while “Green 2” and “Yellow” only go down. Students and staff who have to use the elevator need to know that there is a capacity for two people inside the elevator per round.

Restrooms will also be limited. “We don’t want too many people in a restroom at one time,” said our Principal Mr. Rafael Villalobos on an Instagram video on October 2nd.  The use of restrooms will be monitored, and once students leave the restroom, that restroom is going to be cleaned for the security of everyone at school.

Now with this normality, our school is closing its doors at 3:00 pm every day. There are a few exceptions, such as athletics, dance, or band, and their coaches or teachers are allowed to stay after that hour. Students must bring their electronic device fully charged each day, and the school has installed charging stations throughout the school in addition to the ones that classrooms already had. All students that are coming back physically must download the “Hero App.” Instructions have been sent via students’ emails from Mr. Brenlla’s account, the Dean of Students at the school. This application is going to serve for the school to track all tardies and disciplinary actions (detentions or Saturday school) of any student in the school.

Like every year, all students must be wearing their school ID’s as part of their mandatory uniform. Instructions to create a virtual ID have been sent by the administration staff. Students have to simply go to www.foxmar.com/virtualids , choose their school, and enter their 7 digits number ID. If Fox-Mar has your photo file already, you will be asked to set up a password, and then you will be presented with your virtual ID. If not filed, you will be prompted to take a selfie, which the school will review and approve. Apart from this virtual ID, the students must wear their ID’s around their neck. It is important to have an ID since it works for lunches, the media center, and to pass from class to class since you have to scan a QR-code to go to the restroom, or go see your student’s services counselor, among others.

In reference to the parking lots, if you are a senior coming back to campus, you will be able to park in the student parking lot for the first two weeks of physical learning while decals are being sold. Juniors will be receiving temporary parking tags. More information will be posted soon on the Ferguson Instagram and the applications will be placed on the school website, activities website, and sent out via the class bands.

That’s all the information that has been shared by the school so far. It is important that you follow social distancing protocols if you are coming back physically, as well as the other norms that have been applied to avoid possible contagions and to keep everyone safe.


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