ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — The doors are opening for West Park High School students for the first time as a new hybrid learning model begins.
Students have picked up their Chromebooks and, on Monday, they are on campus for the first time in the brand new, $123 million state-of-the-art facility.
There are classrooms and collaboration spaces for small group learning with screens that teachers can project work up onto – the whole idea being flexible learning where students can learn in adjustable spaces where walls can move and classes can work together, all while being socially distant.
School leaders anticipate coronavirus cases to pop up. When a positive case is reported on campus, the district office will send a district-wide communication to all staff upon each reported COVID-19 case and provide weekly updates through an emailed newsletter ad they progress through a color-tiered system.
The school kicked off its first day of classes with a rally Monday morning to welcome everyone.
It was a party-like atmosphere Monday morning. Hundreds of students were greeted with balloons, music and messages of encouragement. A sign of the times as in-class instruction resumes. during the pandemic.
“It is so great to see everyone,” said Noel Gillespie.
Nearly 600 students filed into the high school, a 180,000-square foot facility with state of the art design.
“So it’s a beautiful school and I am so excited to be on campus again,” said Sofia Ayres.
The incoming freshmen Gillespie and Ayres admitted they were a bit nervous.
“Because of COVID and for a lot of us, it’s our first day of high school!”
Most students felt better once they saw inside. The school boasts wide-open classrooms with collaboration space perfect for social distancing. Masks are required for staff and students.
Sophomore Mihika Kini is just glad to see everyone.
“For me personally, when I’m in a classroom with my teacher I feel like I’m more focused on them,” Kini said.
She says working with classmates face to face goes beyond learning.
“You see their body language. You can tell when your friend is sad. You can console them rather than through a screen, and it’s a lot nicer that way,” Kini said.
Half of the students were on campus for the panther party which kicked off with games and introductions inside the new stadium.
“We can’t wait for group B to get here tomorrow, because our classrooms are all distanced. The desks are six feet apart and our students will be in masks along with our teachers and then we have students learning at home too out on Zoom,” said Becky Guzman.
The stadium seats 4,500 and the arena seats 2,100. A pool is under construction. The school leaders expect West Park will be the biggest high school in the Sacramento area within a few years.
Justin Golka, a sophomore, said, “The facilities at this school are very top-notch. So I feel like athletes will want to transfer here from other schools to use them.”