Hays High eliminates staggered dismissal process

On Aug. 26, 2020, Hays High announced that there would be a staggered dismissal instead of all students being dismissed at the same time to avoid students gathering at the same time in the hallways.

During a Schedule A week, the dismissal time would be 2:59 p.m. for classrooms that have an A letter on their classroom door, 3:01 p.m. For B classrooms, 3:03 p.m. for C classrooms and 3:05 p.m. for D classrooms. The starting letter then changed each week.

“It is my understanding the idea behind the staggered dismissal was in response to the COVID outbreak,” science instructor John Neal said. “As that becomes less and less of a concern, we will return to normalcy with many parts of our lives.”

On the Monday following Hays High’s Spring Break, March 29, it was announced that there would be no more staggered dismissal.

“I think in the beginning, staggered dismissal was a fine idea given the unknowns of the virus and the need for social distancing, which is difficult for a school full of people,” English teacher Diane Mason said. “Staggering dismissal was a way to put distance among people. Right this minute, the unknowns of the virus and its mutations will need to be evaluated before making a decision for next year.

The Staggered Dismissal is very new to this year due to COVID-19 Precautions. For safety concerns, it allowed students to practice social distancing. Since cases have gone down, there will be no more Staggered Dismissal, along with temperature checks in the morning before class.

“From a teacher’s perspective, it is better to have uniformity in class times,” social science teacher Abby Gillan said. “Class really did basically stop once announcements started and the bells rang every two minutes. So, whether dismissal was at 2:59 or 3:05, my class for all intents and purposes ended at 2:59.  Plus, students were always worried about which bell we were that week, and I found it to be a little tedious. I do think it was good for students in terms of reducing traffic in the student parking lot and there is value in that.”