The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Portola administration anticipates that many students and staff will go maskless unless they are in a large area with multiple people indoors, according to assistant principal Amy Paulsen.  

“I’m already noticing when I see people off campus, large students together without masks gathering and going places,” Paulsen said.

Portola High to Lift Indoor Mask Requirement Following Updated State Guidelines

Tyler Kim, Staff Writer
March 14, 2022

Face masks will no longer be mandatory but instead “strongly recommended” inside Portola High classrooms starting March 12, in accordance with California’s new indoor mask policies announced by Gov....

Health assistant Mike Byer organizes student files at the health office. On their fifth day of quarantine, students can take a rapid COVID-19 test. If the results are negative, they may return in-person the next school day; however, if the results are positive, they must stay home the full duration of their 14-day quarantine, according to school nurse James Matejcek.

‘Will IUSD Close Schools? Will Winter Formal be Cancelled?’ – Answering Your COVID-19 Questions

Ryne Dunman and Kayla Moshayedi
January 19, 2022

Portola High reported 77 current confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students and 18 current confirmed cases in staff members on Jan. 12, according to the IUSD COVID-19 dashboard. Principal John Pehrson and...

The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, shown here with a syringe, could expand its accessibility to children ages 5-11 if the FDA approves its request for authorization. The vaccine is already available for those 12 and over, and booster shots are available per CDC criteria.

Pfizer Seeks Authorization from FDA for Vaccine Usage on Ages 5 to 11

Aadi Mehta, Staff Writer
October 22, 2021

Pfizer became the first vaccine manufacturer in the United States on Oct. 7 to seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to use its vaccine on children ages 5 to 11. The FDA will review...

600,000 children, ages 12-15, have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine across the nation, according to NBC News. Refer to the City of Irvine Covid-19 Resources for a nearby vaccination center.

Children Ages 12-15 Now Eligible for Vaccination

Ava Caleca and Erin Choi
May 20, 2021

The Food and Drug Administration approved administration of the Pfizer vaccine to adolescents ages 12-15 on May 13. This age group makes up 5% of the country’s population with roughly 17 million more...

The Walgreens in Woodbury Town Center is a vaccination center. Fully vaccinated individuals have looser COVID guidelines to follow, according to the CDC.

CDC Updates Guidelines for Vaccinated Individuals

Aryan Mittal, Staff Writer
May 12, 2021

The CDC updated COVID guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals on April 29. Vaccinated individuals can visit other vaccinated people without masks or social distancing, travel without COVID testing,...

Relatives who lost a family member due to the Coronavirus surge are outside Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan hospital in New Delhi on April 21, according to the Associated Press. New Delhi has become a major hotspot during the surge.

India’s Healthcare System Collapses as Coronavirus Cases Surge

Aadi Mehta, Staff Writer
May 7, 2021

India’s Coronavirus cases have surged due to large gatherings after prime minister Narendra Modi reopened the country in early April, according to the New York Times. Hospitalizations and deaths skyrocketed,...

The new CDC guideline allows more flexibility within a classroom as only three feet of space is required between students. This is a positive sign for the traditional model in the 2021-22 school year as the allowed flexibility will provide space for more students and shows a positive trend in schools returning to regular models, according to IUSD public information officer Annie Brown.

CDC’s Classroom Spacing Criteria Changes

Dheeksha Bhima Reddy, Staff Writer
April 14, 2021

The CDC updated COVID-19 prevention guidelines on March 20 for K-12 schools establishing a minimum of three feet of space between students seated in a classroom for districts with low, moderate or substantial...

March 2021: Volume 5 Issue 3

March 2021: Volume 5 Issue 3

The Portola Pilot
March 22, 2021

https://tinyurl.com/pilotmarch Best viewed on desktop!

Social studies teacher Wind Ralston, Spanish teacher Caroline Aldemir and choir director Adrian Rangel-Sanchez all received their vaccinations at Families Together of OC on Feb. 24.

Teachers Receive First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

Sidra Asif, Staff Writer
March 16, 2021

Teachers and childcare workers became eligible on March 1 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  The mRNA-1273 Moderna vaccine is 95% effective, according to an interview with Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel...

Irvine Unified superintendent Terry Walker sent out the email officially closing Portola High on March 13 at 12:45 p.m. while students were in their sixth periods.

Portola High Closed Exactly One Year Ago – Today

Ryne Dunman, Business Team
March 12, 2021

Distant. Unthinkable. The virus couldn’t possibly reach the United States. Not California. Not Orange County. Not Irvine. And definitely not our school campus. Friday, March 13, 2020. On that...

The James A. Musick Facility in Irvine was affected by the court’s order to release incarcerated people accused of low-level crimes. The order was a part of a larger effort to combat the jail outbreak of COVID-19 that spiked in January. The decline in cases came after several lengthy court hearings to urge releases. Several public activists as well as the judge involved with the case recently spoke out against Sheriff Don Barnes’ noncompliance with the order.

Sheriff’s Initial Response to COVID-19 Jail Outbreak Sparks Backlash

Nate Taylor
February 24, 2021

Over the past month, the initial 1,000 positive cases of COVID-19 within jails dropped down to 13 positives with about 27 pending tests, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Despite the...

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