Since the reopening of our school in September, a great deal has happened over the course of just three and a half months. From new school traditions to different schedules, it’s definitely been an interesting year so far.
Sadly, more and more students are leaving the hybrid system to become virtual. From a student’s perspective, the change in students has become noticeable in the classroom as students became virtual while the school year progressed. Granted, there are a couple of students that did the opposite and came back to the school, but the amount of students distance learning recently has become significantly higher.
Throughout the school, there’s been talk of school shutting down with COVID cases on the rise. While asking the student body at West, the consensus was the same. “I think that the school will shut down most likely after Christmas and the New Year,” says Victoria LoGIudice, a senior at West. Another student, Gioianna DiGiorgio claims, “I think the school is bound to shut down eventually. My prediction would be after the holiday season.”
However, the staff had different ideas. Mr. Lochan explains that “the decision to close school for any amount of time is something completely out of my hands, and I’m grateful for that. The administrators are working incredibly hard with the contact tracing and all of the behind the scenes stuff that keeps our school open. From what I can gather, our protocols are preventing any major outbreaks within the schools. If we can safely stay open, I think our Reopening plan will direct us to do so.”
The outlook from the other teacher was undeniably in agreement. “In my opinion, I do not think school will close unless we meet the guidelines from the state to say we should close. The students and staff who have been infected, to the best of my knowledge, did not get infected at school, and the number of students and staff infected compared to the total number of people in the district is extremely low. With all that, I do not believe we will close, unless many people start not following the guidelines,” says Health teacher Mrs. Curry.
With all this information in mind, I think it’s important for us to analyze this trend so that we can remain safe through the course of the holiday season into January. So, how can we do that? According to Mr. Locahn, it’s essential to be “listening to the experts, washing your hands often and wearing your mask.”