SAT Day COVID-19 Cases Suggest Successful Reopening “Will Be Easy”




It’s been a challenging year for Allderdice, after the reopening date for in-person instruction has been pushed back from August to November, to January, and now to April. Regardless of what may appear to be months of inaction from the school district, The Backword can confirm that Pittsburgh Public School officials have been working tirelessly to get students back in school buildings, as they named their initiative “All-In To Reopen Our Schools,” indicating that they have made the difficult decision to avoid their normal guilty pleasures like showering during virtual school board meetings and partying maskless in Florida restaurants. 

Despite these brave renunciations by administrators, the school district has faced unforeseen challenges pushing back the return date to in-person learning. “I was under the impression that the pandemic was over,” said superintendent Dr. Ham Omelette. “It wasn’t until the week before we were supposed to reopen in November that our team realized that the virus was still out there.” This forgetfulness has run rampant among the school board, leaving these decisions to delay the return of students to school building to come down to the last minute.

In the last few weeks, though, there has been a new ray of hope: the SAT day held at Allderdice on March 3. On Wednesday, dozens of students crowded into the building where they were able to take the college-readiness exam free of cost. Students were required to wear masks and desks were spaced out to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Many saw this as a test to see if in-person instruction would finally be possible. In the days following the exam, administrators held their breath to find out how many positive cases of COVID-19 would be reported, and they were thrilled to find out there were only nine.

“It’s truly a testament to the dedicated nature of the Dragon community,” said principal Dr. CoyBoi in a statement. “If we could return to Allderdice with only nine cases a day, we would be smooth sailing through the end of the school year.” Allegheny County has averaged roughly 300 daily cases of COVID-19 over the past few weeks, which means that Allderdice would only make up a mere 3% of positive cases in the city. Staff were previously concerned about other aspects of in-person instruction, such as needing to remove masks while eating lunch, but with “such low numbers of positive tests on March 3, there’s no way that the virus could really spread even if kids are unmasked,” said CoyBoi.

CDC officials still recommend avoiding large gatherings, which reopening Allderdice to in-person instruction would violate. “Those recommendations don’t take into account Allderdice’s track record for having one of the cleanest buildings in the school district,” said CoyBoi, citing a study done in 1927 (the year Allderdice first opened its doors) that found no bathrooms without soap. It is common belief that the findings of said study still apply today.

As students return to school, only time will tell how much Allderdice contributes to the spread of COVID-19.