Seniors’ Trip Raises Questions

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San Andrés Island

Penelope Ashe, Discoverer Staff Writer

 TCS Students went on their senior trip to San Andrés from the 17th to the 21st of February and described the pandemic’s effects on this traditional gathering.

The trip was possible after months of planning by the travel agency, Caribe School. There were no reports on covid-positive test results, and the seniors managed to enjoy it despite the circumstances.

“We were afraid we wouldn’t make it. The trip seemed very unlikely to happen at first, but Caribe School contacted us months before to let us know that the trip would be happening,” Tomas Sanchez, Senior, said.

For the trip to occur, Caribe School required the students to take a Covid test to ensure the safety of those attending and exponentially decrease the risks. One week before traveling, students had to take the PCR test and share their negative results with the agency. 

 “Since we had to take a Covid test prior to the trip, we were all being really careful to decrease all risks. I believe this also contributed to the trip being as successful as it was since students really made an effort to take care of themselves and stay at home,” Sanchez said.

The senior trip is a tradition, but the school does not sponsor it. It is fully student-arranged, and it happens during a couple of school days, in which the school does not excuse absences. 

 “The trip has been happening for years. As far as I´ve worked at TCS, it has happened, and I´m aware that long before that, too. However, the school has nothing to do with it, and we have no say in the matter,” Darian George, TCS Vice Principal, said. 

After returning from the trip, the students could not return to school for two weeks unless they took a covid test to ensure fellow TCS Students and staff’s safety. 

 “Since 14 days is the approximate incubation period for Covid, we issued an email to parents letting them know that their kids couldn’t return to campus until they self quarantined or took a test,” George said. 

Students took care of themselves during the trip by limiting their contact with strangers and interacting only with each other when not using face masks. As far as students and the TCS principals are aware, no covid cases occurred as a result of this trip. 

We wore face masks when walking through the hotel or public areas and only took them off in the boat or in party areas where we were alone with other seniors. This was very effective since thus far no senior has gotten Covid,” Isabelle Vergnaud, Senior, said.

As for school staff and administration, the facts state the same, with the school having no reports on any new covid cases caused by the trip. 

“As far as we know and at this given time, no students have gotten Covid from the trip,” George said.

And as for those seniors who did not attend the trip, school was normal, just like any school week. 

I went to school the days that my classmates were on the trip. I didn´t attend (the trip) because my parents thought it was irresponsible given the current pandemic. I don’t regret missing it since drinking and partying is not really my thing. I only regret not being able to go on that final trip with people that I´ve known for over a decade, ” Jeronimo Arrubla, Senior, said. 

Altogether, the trip remains an unforgettable experience for seniors, a tradition for TCS history, and a historic moment for the current worldwide pandemic. 

I would completely recommend the trip. It is such a fulfilling experience, a closure for school, and a way to unite with the grade as a whole,” Sanchez said.