Rodrigues sits in her English class annotating “King Lear” during a class discussion. This was one of many long walks she has to take during the day. “It’s not as bad as I was expecting, the portables are kind of nice and it’s not much of a change from learning in regular classes minus the walking,” Rodrigues said. (Photo Juno Le)
Rodrigues sits in her English class annotating “King Lear” during a class discussion. This was one of many long walks she has to take during the day. “It’s not as bad as I was expecting, the portables are kind of nice and it’s not much of a change from learning in regular classes minus the walking,” Rodrigues said.

Photo Juno Le

New Routines for Robinson Following Winter Break

In preparation for the construction project, students and staff members "reroute" their daily routines as they transition into the temporary campus layout.

January 21, 2022

New year, new-ish campus. New routines for Knights.

Following Winter Break, students and staff members returned to a new layout of campus as the construction project at Robinson High School begins.

Map (not to scale) depicting the locations of the portables in relation to the rest of campus as well as the areas of campus that are now closed off for construction work. (Photo Juno Le)

Situated in half of what used to be the student parking lot outside of the Robinson gymnasium, auditorium and the practice field is the portable area, housing 32 portable classrooms as well as three portable buildings for administration, the clinic and two restroom buildings. All portables are slightly elevated above ground with ramps and boardwalks for students and staff.

Unfortunately, for many students, this change means longer walks to classes during passing periods.

“I timed myself walking and even though I’m walking with a purpose, it takes me ten minutes between classes,” Priya Sambasivan (’22) said. Sambasivan’s longest trip during the school day is from IB math teacher Joshua Saunders’s JA in portable 12 to IB history teacher Gerard Batista’s class in room 248.

Sambasivan’s trip from Saunders to Batista is represented in green, including her walk from the first floor to the second. (Photo Juno Le)

This transition period has been a challenge for some students more than others. Bella Rodrigues (’23) broke her tibia right behind her kneecap at a basketball game against Jefferson High School on Dec. 28 when a player on the opposing team ran into her and hyperextended her knee. She’s now walking on crutches around school.

“Before the semester began I was worried I would be super late to class but I figured it out and learned to walk quickly on crutches and my teachers have been very lenient, so that’s nice,” Rodrigues said. After the first few days, Rodrigues has received help from her classmates with carrying her belongings, especially for the longer routes.

Rodrigues leaves lunch to head to her psychology class. She’s followed by Auggie White (’23)(navy blue hoodie), who helps carry her belongings in between classes. “On the first day back, when I tried to carry my backpack and use crutches at the same time, it took me 25 minutes to get from my last class to my car,” Rodrigues said. (Photo Juno Le)

Despite a few initial challenges for some, other students have had a better experience with the adjustment.

“I like it, [there’s] a more liberating feel of walking outside. I was unsurprised because the layout had been known weeks before winter break,” Nicolai Merrild (’23) said.

The walks aren’t the only nice new change for students. Some have grown fond of their new learning environments.

“I really like the portables. I think they’re tiny and cozy. If there are not too many students it’s usually pretty comfortable,” Sophie Gomez (’24) said.

Before students returned from their break, many teachers had to move into their new classrooms and settle in their new teaching environment. IB English teacher Susan Difederico has taught at Robinson for 40 years and moved into a portable classroom along with the rest of the English department for her last year of teaching.

“I’m actually enjoying my portable. It has a lot of good light coming in and I like decorating it differently than my other room,” Difederico said.

I like it, [there’s] a more liberating feel of walking outside.”

— Nicolai Merrild ('23)

A few portable classrooms are also awaiting the arrival of new devices.

“Overall, the feedback I’ve received is that the portables are very nice and they actually exceed the expectations of the teachers and students. I’m excited for the technology that should be delivered sometime in the next couple of school days to enhance that learning experience,” Robinson HS Principal Robert Bhoolai said.

During the first two weeks of the semester, there’s been some leniency on tardiness to classes as traffic flow in the hallway has become a challenge for some students, most notably, the sidewalk right in front of the cafeteria.

“We’ve been brainstorming some ways to kind of open up the back sidewalk [behind the cafeteria] as well to make sure we have a continual traffic flow and reiterate to some students to how important it is to get to class on time,” Bhoolai said.

For some, this transition calls for time to develop a new routine and lifestyle, but for others, it’s simply just another day at school. Regardless, Robinson will be spending a predicted 18 months like this.

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