From online to stranded

Students are faced with an ever-growing list of assignments and content due to quarantine protocols.

Heath Rice

Students are faced with an ever-growing list of assignments and content due to quarantine protocols.

Heath Rice, Arts and Entertainment Editor

The past two years have been drastically different from past school years as COVID ravaged the school system. Schools were shut down and classrooms were abandoned. All hope seemed lost until, under the hard work of teachers and administrations, schools were adapted to function digitally. 

Schools began to use the advantage of technology to allow learning to continue. Students began to join virtual classes for hours at a time and receive lessons. Choirs performed on Zoom and students could ask for help through email.

Teachers would attempt to teach their curriculums over computer screens as both parties adjusted to the new normal. After the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools began to have a hybrid schedule. 

This allowed students to ask in-person questions as well as do homework and still attend online classes. The 2021- 2022 years almost seem back to normal as masks are not required and the entire student body roams the hallways. 

Online school seems like a distant memory, but COVID is still an active threat and hindrance to the student body. If a student gets COVID or has symptoms, they must quarantine. 

Because online classes are not an option as they were last year, the quarantine experience is different. Students and teachers alike struggle to navigate school work when they are forced to quarantine. 

Unlike previous years, when students were given extra days to make-up work, quarantine is an extended period of time. In the worst cases of exposure, students have to quarantine for two whole school weeks.

This is an extended loss of school time, and for a decent portion of it, students may feel fine and up to do schoolwork. Unfortunately without daily Zoom calls and online classes, a plethora of extra steps and work is added for students.

Students must now teach themselves how to do the work seemingly alone without actual chances to be somewhat in class with the usage of Zoom. 

Now, steps like writing countless emails to teachers, waiting for a response and hoping it comes across well through email are now added onto the already stressful quarantine period. When students should be focused on recovery, they are pressured to keep up or suffer the consequences.

Two weeks of school missed is over 60 hours of missed content that is forced to be made up. That is over two full days of content students are expected to learn and somewhat comprehend. 

PV Junior, Yesenia was sick for the past two weeks and was quarantined, “Being gone for a long period of time because I was sick made it really hard to keep up for two weeks. Along with being sick and trying to recover it was really stressful, and I’m still not caught up.”

Even coming back is a daunting task as assignments begin to pile up. Yesenia stated, “I Felt like I couldn’t ask for help because the teachers had already moved on from the units. It was overly stressful and annoying to come back. Most of my teachers were still really lenient but after a few days they began to ask for assignments.” 

Even after returning from being sick and fortunately making a full recovery, Yesenia is still forced to do work over her well-deserved break. “I still have to study while they expect me to learn the new materials at the same time. Over break I’m now forced to do work to catch up on assignments that I missed while being sick,” she stated. 

Tragically, Yesenia isn’t the only student who is now forced to make up a towering pile of work and materials over the holiday break. 

It is not just a struggle for students, but teachers, as well. Teachers can use resources like Google Classroom to post assignments and Gmail to contact students. Even with these helpful resources, it can still be quite stressful for both parties.  

Perhaps schools should take bits and pieces of the COVID protocols to help with the upcoming 2022 school year. The re-integration of optional Zoom meetings during 8th period or recorded classes may be a student’s oasis in quarantine. 

If both parties use the miracle of technology properly it can make online schooling during quarantine more natural and simple.