Tag Archives: Jimmy Gomez

Staff spotlight: Custodians

By Jimmy Gomez

One year has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and finally, the reopening of schools is starting to become an even greater discussion. Custodians have played an important role in the reopening of schools and are helping prepare for hybrid learning in order for the students and staff to feel safe to return to school.

Even though health workers and law enforcement are crucial during these times, we can not forget about our custodial staff. Our custodial staff consists of: Carlos Feliciano (Head Custodian), Robert Lopez (Day Custodian), Daniel Vargas (Night Lead Custodian), Anthony Zaragoza (Night Custodian), and Paul Galvan (Night Custodian).

At school, they have been preparing and setting up the classrooms and other parts of the campus, which has made it reassuring to return to school. “We have been trying to keep busy setting up for hybrid learning and taking care of other projects that are not possible during regular class hours and days,” says Mr. Galvan. Some of the actions they have taken to prevent more COVID-19 cases from arising at school are setting up each desk with clear plastic dividers, measuring & separating desks to make sure they are 6 feet apart, and having marked stand-by lines for entrances and exits.

The custodians have also made sure that all the classrooms and offices are deep cleaned and disinfected after being used by any staff. They have also been adding air purifiers to all rooms, gyms, and offices and have been removing any extra furniture to make as much space possible. Mr. Zaragoza stated, “As a custodian it’s just preparing for new safety measures we must take to make sure students and staff can return to school and feel safe to want to come back.” 

The pandemic has also affected the custodial staff and the work that they do. They no longer have students to take care of, which is an important part of their job. Mr. Zaragoza says, “Covid has been tough, with the schools being closed and the world being closed, it’s given me little options to do anything.” Others have lost loved ones or family members. I’m sure that most of us, if not all, can relate to this. And it has not been such a grand experience. However, they have found ways to distract themselves and do things that they love.

I am sure that I can speak on behalf of the seniors of this year’s graduating class that we are thankful for them because without our custodians, there wouldn’t be any possibility that we could return to school. Some of us have lost our motivation, but returning to campus as a student for the last time is meaningful to us. It is important that we remind ourselves that our custodians work very hard to make sure that we are safe and comfortable at school. Not only during this pandemic, but also during “normal times.”

The Bugle thanks them all for their work and the actions they have taken in order to make us feel safe.

District Waives C-Average Graduation Requirement

By Jimmy Gomez

During these tough times, we have all been challenged in one way or another. It has affected everyone, from the elderly to young children. Not only mentally, but physically and emotionally. One of these obstacles has been online school, which has been a challenge for students. When attending online classes, many students are expected to behave and act as if there were no problem and continue working, while they see those around them worry and stress. This has resulted in a drop of grades and quality of work that the students have done. 

On Tuesday, January 26, the Norwalk La-Mirada School Board members decided to take action in order to help students. After a 6-0 vote, board members decided to eliminate the 2.0 grade point average graduation requirement in hopes that it would reduce the stress of the students. This discussion was first brought up to the board members after seeing a noticeable change in the data and reports of the schools and district over the course of a year that COVID-19 has been going on. It was talked about with principals and administration, in which a majority spoke that it was agreeable.

This change will not be a permanent one, but it is only temporary in order to help the students in this challenging time; which means that the grade point average graduation requirement will resume to normal when everything else returns to normal.

From the movie The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Although this decision may not be a grand change, it will nonetheless help students. The Superintendent of the NLMUSD District, John Lopez, stated, “This year we anticipate that number [of students] being higher, given the restrictions on being able to bring students back for in-person instruction.” This will give aid to students who are struggling with reaching the graduation requirement and give them motivation to work harder even when faced with such a large obstacle.

School Board member Jose Rios adds, “This will help reinforce, motivate, and give a positive outlook to students.” 

However, there are still a number of people who do not support this change. Some may say that this decision is lowering the standards for students. Others say that students do not deserve this opportunity, because they did not put in the effort and dedication in their first 3 years of high school. But, one must understand the struggles and lack of motivation that students have during these times. “Challenging the kids, it’s a big positive plus for everyone; yet these are not normal circumstances,” says Rios. “Students are facing challenging times, not only dealing with grades but with death.”

As the school year is coming to an end, it is crucial that any support be given to the students. Mr. Lopez stated, “During the pandemic, some students have been impacted disproportionately as the support services become difficult to deliver remotely. It is for that reason that we felt it necessary to temporarily modify our 2.0 GPA graduation requirements.”

Although it is unclear when this pandemic will come to an end, it is important to continue staying safe and avoiding any contact. In order to prevent any more hardships through the pandemic, Mr. Jose Rios would like you all to remember to stay safe and follow the requirements and regulations set in order to return to normalcy sooner than later.

Jimmy Gomez

Jimmy Gomez is a student at John Glenn High School. He is involved in a volunteer program outside of school and is in the pathway ACE (Academy for Careers in Education). During his free time, he likes to play soccer, listen to music, and volunteer at city events. He plans to attend a community college and work his way into a law enforcement career after graduating from high school. His favorite news sources are CNN, The Los Angeles Times, and Telemundo News.