Crowded Classrooms and COVID

Lily Doty

School is back in business.

After last year’s online learning experience, most people were ready to return to in-person learning. With masks on and brains ready, people are getting back in the swing of things with regular school.

School this year looks different than before, obviously, as people have to wear masks indoors and do their best to social distance. There are questions being asked, however, about if it is really effective to have students in classrooms.

Bakersfield High School has 3066 students attending, with around 340 on Kern Learn, and about 247 staff members. That is a lot of people to fit into Bakersfield High. While there is room enough for everyone, this year, with the matter of COVID-19, people are worried about how crowded our classrooms are.

The classroom sizes at BHS don’t really allow for students to stay the recommended three feet socially distanced from each other, while still keeping everyone in their correct classes. The most effective way to prevent COVID, according to the CDC (Links to an external site.), is for students to be vaccinated, wear their masks, maintain a distance of three feet from one another, to monitor local transmission, and stay home and get tested when sick or have symptoms of illness. With twenty to thirty students in a twenty-by-thirty foot room, there is not enough room for three feet between each student on all sides.

There has been overcrowding in some classes while there has been extra space in others, so the ability to distance varies from class to class, depending on the size of the classrooms.

Some students have had their schedules changed, so as to even out the class sizes. At any point there could be more than 150 students out with COVID, which alters class sizes. When those students come back, it could potentially change things in the classroom. It is unknown as to what KHSD will do about the spacing situation, or whether they will do anything at all. Whether they begin to require COVID vaccines or change classes so that students can be distanced, remains to be seen.