In a recent survey of high school students, it was found that the majority of them would like to go back to school. The reasons for this are many, ranging from wanting to learn more about themselves and their future careers, to simply being bored with what they’re doing now.
The my thoughts about the school year 2020-2021 amidst covid-19 outbreak essay is a blog post that high school students have written. It talks about what it’s like to return back to school after experiencing the Covid-19 outbreak.
While dealing with worry and economic insecurity, students skipped homecoming, field excursions, and courses. They must now, with the aid of the school, jump into the future.
28 September 2021
WATERBURY, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – In the hallways of John F. Kennedy High School this fall, there is a surreal swirl of newness and oldness: Black Lives Matter face masks and exhortations to pull them up — “Over your nose, please!” — but also ribbing and laughter, bells ringing, hall passes being checked, and loudspeaker reminders about the dress code (collared black or navy shirts and khaki or black bottoms).
For the most of the school year, Kennedy was available for in-person study. However, families in this working-class, mainly Hispanic and Black school system in Waterbury, Conn., chose to opt out in huge numbers, with two-thirds of high school kids finishing the year completely online.
Only children with serious health problems are eligible for remote learning this year, and no Kennedy family have been accepted so far.
For the first time in 18 months, the majority of juniors and seniors have returned to the building. They’re bigger and more mature — sometimes physically unrecognizable, according to a counselor — but they’re still dealing with the effects of the coronavirus epidemic, which include worry, economic insecurity, and scholastic difficulties.
Because of the closing of a neighboring Catholic school and an influx of families coming from New York City in search of cheap housing, the school now has over 1,300 pupils, which is more than before the epidemic.
According to the principal, Robert Johnston, the majority of students are making up credits from failed courses. Because some students are afraid of entering the busy cafeteria, they are permitted to eat and interact in quiet classrooms. There have been a few confrontations, and it’s obvious that some adolescents are having trouble controlling their behavior after spending so much time at home, frequently alone.
Prior to the pandemic, Kennedy was on the rise: its graduation rate had increased from 73 percent in 2011 to 84 percent in 2019. Many upperclassmen are now behind on college or career preparation, jeopardizing their progress. Some students believe that after 18 months of computer-based study, they do not know their professors well enough to request recommendation letters. Many want to be the first in their family to attend a four-year university.
Mr. Johnston said as he stood at a hallway junction guiding kids to classes — many of whom had forgotten how to traverse the facility — “It’s a totally crazy experience.” “I’m still a bit apprehensive. It’s both thrilling and exhausting.”
Here are the Kennedy High School students’ voices. The transcripts of the interviews have been modified.
Senior Markela Karameta, 16
The greatest part of my day had been seeing my pals. Going to school, hanging out, and anything else comes to mind.
It was exhausting to spend the whole day on social media, gazing at a phone screen. In the beginning, there was a great deal of drama. You lost a lot of pals due to the quarantine.
We also never had a pep rally. I’ve never attended a homecoming before. I’ve never gone on a field trip before. Will we be allowed to celebrate Senior Day?
Junior Lennox Serrano, 16
I knew the school like the back of my hand my freshman year. However, when I returned for junior year this autumn, I had no idea where anything was. It seemed as if I had never been there before.
I used to give hugs and high-fives to folks. It’s now a fist bump or a wave hello. You can’t touch people like that any more. You don’t want to become too close to anybody. It doesn’t feel “me,” since I like to mingle, converse, be close, and be one-on-one. Isn’t it enough to be among a bunch of people right now and have a good time? It’s a challenge. You never know when Covid will appear. It’s terrifying.
Principal Robert Johnston
Navigating not just the beginning of school — which is usually a little stressful — but starting school in the midst of a pandemic after not having that school fully open for a year and a half is a totally surreal experience.
Students have not been together in a long time, and their interpersonal conflict resolution skills are lacking. There’s a lot of social media drama going on. It has the potential to rapidly spiral out of control. Before the epidemic, we had a well-established culture in the building. That ecology must now be reestablished.
During the epidemic, many students were surprised by how alone they felt. Anxiety is becoming increasingly prevalent among students.
There are a few kids that are adamant about avoiding eating in the cafeteria. The sheer quantity of pupils is creating a great deal of stress.
Even before the epidemic, math was the most difficult subject in school. We’re offering teaching and credit rehabilitation, both of which are aided by stimulus funds.
However, many individuals overlook the cost of lost time in terms of education or career preparation. When we meet with kids in person, we usually begin this conversation in ninth grade, discussing what actions you can take even at the age of 14. We tried to accomplish a lot of those things when we were virtual, but we weren’t as successful as we had hoped. Now we have juniors who are rushing to finish their college applications.
A student’s request for a college recommendation letter is usually simple. However, how well do staff members know pupils who haven’t seen them in over a year and a half?
Dania Gray, a junior, is 17 years old.
I went to Waterbury with my mother and younger sister during the start of the epidemic. I was born and raised in the Bronx. My mother, on the other hand, desired to purchase a home. This was the finest neighborhood, the best location.
For a few weeks sophomore year, I tried attending to school in person, but we had to remain at home every few days because one person would get a case, and the whole school would shut down. It was also simpler for my mother and sister to remain at home. My mother was employed as a social worker in New York City at the time.
I’d make sure my sister was awake before boarding the kindergarten bus in the morning. I’d then wait for her to get home so I could assist her with her schoolwork. I’d make sure she had a shower and fed her.
I was not looking forward to being at home. And it really took a toll on my psyche when I realized I wouldn’t be going to school sophomore year.
My online courses went nicely. However, I would sleep until the afternoon and then do my homework for the remainder of the day. Then I’d stay up all night watching TV and films. It was a pattern that kept repeating itself. There was just a lot of spare time.
I’ve met a lot of new individuals since returning to school. Everyone seems to be more nicer and open. Volleyball is what I’m doing right now. Also, I’d want to get more engaged in the community, maybe by volunteering with the Red Cross.
I want to study psychology in college and get a PhD. I’m always asking myself, “What makes individuals think and behave the way they do?” And how can I connect to them as a person?” I became more self-aware as a result of the epidemic.
Counselor Ashley Moutinho
Freshmen don’t truly become freshmen until about halfway through the year, I usually joke. They’ll be eighth graders till the end of the year.
Now I see them in the halls, and they seem to be about 22 years old.
Some students worked at supermarkets, pharmacies, and restaurants last year. McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts employ a large number of our students. Students were putting in more money than they had ever put in before.
Working hours were more flexible when they were virtual. They must now ride the bus home and change into their work attire since school ends at 1:50 p.m. You must basically tell them that school is their first priority. It’s all about time management. I have a part-time job at the Gap myself, so I can speak with them about it.
Junior Jaikwon Francis, 16
My grandma died of Covid in Brooklyn in April 2020. I lived with her for a time, so we were close. At first, it was difficult to move on.
Last year, I didn’t go to school. Every day was different. I slept in late and missed 80 days of first period geometry. That class was a fail for me, so I completed credit recovery during the summer. It was a two-week online class that required two hours each day.
Now, I make every effort to remain upbeat. Covid isn’t going to endure indefinitely.
And, to be honest, the epidemic changed my life. My work has gotten a lot of praise, and I attended an online journalism class last year. I began interviewing individuals. I also became interested in photography. When you’re cooped up indoors, you want to go out more. I began taking walks beyond my neighborhood to this wooded area. I felt compelled to snap away since it was so calm. I can now imagine a picture wherever I go.
My journalism instructor compliments me on my abilities. My mother and stepfather are very supportive of me. They claim I’m required to attend college. Now that I’m back in journalism, I’ll be working on the school paper.
chemistry teacher Donald Lafayette
Last year, I was in the classroom and on video with the students at home at the same time. Because just a few students were present in person, the emphasis was mostly on distance learning. People would be in bed for the first period. The most difficult aspect was determining whether or not students were engaged while telling tales in the classroom.
However, they will benefit from their remote learning experience in college online courses. Many occupations are now now available remotely. The landscape is shifting.
Senior Jessinya Severino, 17
I used to suffer headaches three times a week from staring at a computer screen so much last year.
Now that we’re back in person, I’m feeling much better.
Now I have to complete my college applications, but I don’t feel like I’ve had enough time to think about it or even breathe with it. I’m completely overwhelmed.
UConn or Quinnipiac are my top choices. Quinnipiac University, on the other hand, is very pricey. I’m looking for the cheapest option. My gifted and talented instructor ensures that we are on top of our college applications. My mother did not attend college, and since she has never been through it, she finds it difficult to assist me. I’d want to work as a perfusionist. During surgery, a perfusionist is the person in charge of the heart bypass machine. The joke is that I am the only one who uses that term. I heard about it from “Grey’s Anatomy” and did more study.
The are students going back to school in 2021 is a question that high school students have been asking for a while. Students from the class of 2021 talk about what it’s like to return to school after a long break.
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