A Revival of Warrior Workshops Post-COVID-19


Art/Photo by Anika Agarwal

Seen in their AP English Language class working together, this group of students—along with many others—would be able to find a common meeting time and place to work on projects during Warrior Workshops.

Anika Agarwal, Staff Writer, Staff Photographer

   The news headlines in March of 2020 announced that schools would remain closed for several months because of the pandemic. This meant students would be studying from their homes. Seeing students struggle in online learning, a Workshop time slot was allotted for students to visit their teachers through Zoom. However, with this year returning back in-person, the West High administration had to return to its older ways. 

   The Warrior Workshop schedule was back in action starting October 21, 2021 (even though it was used to accommodate The Great Shake-out earthquake drill, instead of actual Workshop). After two months of in-person schooling and seeing no COVID-19 transmission on the school campus, the school administration agreed to bring back workshops. Initially, everyone was skeptical about how contact tracing would be followed when students from different classes would be all mixing in various rooms. However, a plan was devised to ensure that students only select to go to their current teachers’ classrooms instead of choosing any teacher like in the past years. 

   To further maintain COVID-19 precautionary actions, teachers would be creating a seating chart to keep track of where students sat in the room. COVID-19 mandates have also played a likely role in facilitating the return of these workshops. With almost everyone being vaccinated against COVID-19, the risk of coronavirus transmission on campus reduces significantly. This advantage has definitely played a major role in the decision of bringing back the mingling of students from different classes. 

    Workshop time is likely to help students succeed academically while keeping them protected. The purpose of this devoted time on Wednesdays and Thursdays is to give students time to catch up on their work and stay on top of their assignments. If students are struggling with a particular class—for example, math— they can invest extra time in visiting their teacher and asking for help that otherwise wouldn’t have been readily available in a normal 57-minute class period.

   Many times, teachers and students aren’t able to find the right time to engage in an elaborated discussion because of their hectic schedules. AP US History teacher, Mrs. Cerda, expressed that many teachers “cannot stay after school to tutor/assist students and use lunch to [eat] and have a much-needed break.” From students’ point of view, they might have after-school practices and zero period classes which makes coordination much more difficult. Warrior Workshop helps to create this time. 

   With a dedicated time slot to meet with teachers, students like Christian Pasos (11) would be able to get more help and make good use of their time. Pasos explained that during his freshman year, he “didn’t really take advantage of [the] workshop[s] and [he’d] just stayed in [his] class for a study [hall].” Pasos would be able to do test corrections in his history class, as Mrs. Cerda brainstormed that workshops could be a time for students to “review assessments, including essays.” 

   While some students might want to attend their choice of workshops, others might be called by teachers to come in to reassess on certain topics or receive extra help “to maintain appropriate grades,” shared Mrs. Murata, the West High Principal. 

   The way students would be able to sign up for these workshops is through a new platform called Schoology, different from eTUSD that was used two years ago. Mrs. Murata explained that even though there is a change where students sign up for the workshops, both portals used Moodle—the backbone platform of both portals—to function, making it easier for students to adapt. In fact, Pasos shared that when he was a freshman, he didn’t really get used to eTUSD, making the transition not  as hard. 

   Mrs. Murata indicated that the Warrior Workshop is “a time when students can get additional support from their teachers.” If there are students loitering around school buildings when they should be being productive in their classes, the staff on duty will ensure that students “book something and go to their workshop.” 

   Getting Workshop schedules back has taken two full months, showing that it was a well-thought-out decision. Signing up for workshops and asking for help during the school year used to be the go-to and shall now continue to be at West High!