Self-certification measures attract debate about its effectiveness


Christina Guckel

Students and parents have been required to perform a self-certification at the beginning of each month before going to school. Self-certification checkups take place in StudentVUE and ParentVUE.

Tanay Pant and Brennan Lockwood

Since schools in District 204 started preparing for students to return to school, many procedures have been put in place to make this transition as smooth as possible. Self-certification, a checklist that students can use to see if they may have symptoms of COVID-19, has been used in District 204 since Jan. 15. The idea behind self-certification is that students can self-certify if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 before going back to school, thus theoretically protecting others at Metea Valley from a possible outbreak.

The checklist appears at the beginning of the month every time a student logs into StudentVUE. It can also appear if a parent logs into the corresponding ParentVUE. If not completed by a certain time with the student at school, a health services staff member is to call the parents of the student to check up on their health status. However, the usefulness and necessity of such a system have been called into question by students attending Metea.

“I do not understand why we have to do that, and I think it is unnecessary since we all walk super close in the hallway and do not follow any social distancing regulations,” senior Jamiya Johnson said.

Self-certifications measures have been implemented not just district-wide, but nationwide as well to combat the spread of COVID-19. Barbershops, recreational venues, and work offices are just a few of the many locations that require a self-checkup before entering their space. Self-certification is commonplace in any public area one can go to.

“[One] would think that anyone with common sense would stay home if they had COVID of anything resembling it,” sophomore Venkata Sri Saiveer Chelliboyina said.

The lack of security in self-certification tests remains a concern for some students. Since the tests rely on the honor system and school faculty have few resources to check the entries, students have the ability to lie and fabricate their actual results. Easy deception is not the only flaw of the system, either. According to one anonymous sophomore, she had accidentally checked off all of the boxes declaring that she had symptoms of COVID-19 at the beginning of October. Even so, there was no action taken to quarantine her, check up on her health, or anything relating to that.

Even among those that are not confident in the self-certification system, there is a sentiment that it is the first step towards building a safer school environment.

“I suppose that something is better than nothing,” Chelliboyina said. “[I still believe] that if you have common sense, and you are experiencing symptoms, you do not go to school.”