Covid-19 Guidelines at Hollis-Brookline High School


Amanda Brown '21

The guidelines at Hollis-Brookline High School are still being revised as problems are arising. At the beginning of the year lunch seating was not tracked specific enough so now the school has QR codes for contact tracing. As long as the school keeps making changes to ensure the highest level of safety the school should be able to stay open. “This is one area we are always looking to improve because lunch is the biggest transition during the day,” said Barnes.

Abigail Brown, Op-Ed Editor

Hollis Brookline High School has opened for in-person learning with many guidelines to keep students safe. One of the guidelines set in place is to wear a mask at all times when social distancing is not possible. Some of the other protocols are cleaning desks, social distancing, wearing a mask at all times, and having longer class blocks to have less movement in the building. 


Some people may think that wearing a mask whenever necessary is difficult, but staff and students voice that it may be easier than one would think. “I definitely think walking in the hallways and in school, everyone is wearing their masks. People are really good about keeping their distance when we go on mask breaks,” said Samantha Messina ‘21. Messina ‘21, one of the many in-person students this year, has noticed that students are very good about following the new guidelines.


Another guideline set in place at HB is to clean the desks when class is over. This does not seem to be a hard task, but when you are in a rush to your next class, you may forget. “I feel like my students are doing a really good job at both remembering and cleaning the desks well. Every once in a while someone will get up and head out to leave like they are on autopilot and they forget, but if I just say, ‘Oh, don’t forget to clean your desks,’ they just immediately go get a wipe and do it,” said Elizabeth Kolb. Kolb is one of the in-person math teachers this school year. 


Additionally, students are required to socially distance during lunch, since students are not wearing masks. “It kind of follows social distancing, but when people are in big, big groups outside and we are all sitting next to each other, I guess that’s not really following the social distancing part; but for the most part, we are pretty good at social distancing and wearing a mask when throwing our trash out,” said Messina ‘21. Messina ‘21 is one of the many students who eats lunch on campus, and she’s noticed those few issues with social distancing at lunch. Students at HB also have to scan and fill out a form to show what table or zone they are in for lunch in order to help with contact tracing.


HBHS has introduced longer blocks to reduce movement in the building. A long block class is around an hour and twenty minutes, which is longer than the fifty-minute classes of last year. There was 5 transitions and 6 with CavBlock now there are 4 and 5 with CabBlock. “I am not a supporter of longer blocks than normal times, because I think there is not enough research there that they make a difference. These blocks are chosen specifically for safety; they have nothing to do with us thinking it was better for instruction,”  said Barnes. Rick Barnes, HB Principal helped set the guidelines in place and made sure they are working smoothly. 


Despite the guidelines in place, a concern is if the school will be able to adhere to the rules. If rules and guidelines can’t be followed, then there may be major consequences. One being the school closing and going to remote learning again. “My biggest concern is seeing what happened to the senior class [last year], they lost sports seasons, and lost a lot of the things that you would expect to get in senior year,” said Barnes.

As staff continue to change and improve guidelines as needed, the school asks that you check your email to stay up to date with new or changes in guidelines.