My name is Reese Griffin. I am a student at Fredericksburg High School and am a part of the Mesa yearbook staff. I plan to study and earn a degree in journalism in college. I am writing this story in order to give readers of the Fredericksburg Standard a look into how COVID-19 has affected school.
This school year has been anything but normal. The halls are emptier, students’ faces are covered with masks, and classrooms smell like sanitizer and Lysol. It seems the COVID-19 virus has taken over the school.
We started off the 2020-2021 school year a week later than originally planned. Students had the option to come to school or stay at home and be remote. This made classes smaller in some cases. One class could have 28 students in it with the next class having only 8 students due to most of the class being remote.
Offering classes online has been a very beneficial option not only for students who chose to be remote but for students who are quarantined or have a common illness. Online classes allow for those students to stay up to date with their school work instead of waiting until they get back to school.
It seems like almost every day someone has either tested positive or quarantined due to exposure of the virus. If someone is sick even with allergies, they have to take a test in order to come back to school. Taking sick days aren’t as fun as they used to be.
Those in sports struggled the most. Fans have to rush and buy tickets online before they’re sold out as stands can only hold 50% capacity. Masks don’t protect the players or coaches from getting quarantined which can cause whole teams to be out for two weeks with multiple games canceled.
The school is filled with uncertainty for the future. No one knows what will become of tomorrow. Will we go to school? Or will the school shut down again like it did in November? Will we have a full class? Or will I be one of five that are able to come?
It gets hard when we don’t know who will show up to class or not. One day we could have a full class and the next day only half show up because the rest are quarantined or sick. Teachers struggle trying to keep up with which students are remote and need online work.
Substitutes are a problem as well. As much as students are gone, teachers can be sick or quarantined as well. Subs are in limited supply as many don’t want to risk exposure which can cause counselors or other teachers to sub for a class period or two if there aren’t any more subs left.
This year has been quite the wild ride, but the students, staff, and administration are learning and working hard to find solutions to our pandemic problems in order to make this year be just as great.
Griffin is a junior at Fredericksburg High School and the daughter of Joel and Rene Griffin.