Students Speak Out About School Year Changes

Aolani Velez

   It is no surprise that the ongoing health pandemic brought many changes to students’ day to day lives on campus. From temperature checks at the door to limited class sizes, it’s safe to say this school year is unlike any other.

   But, as the first quarter- another new change- comes to a close, students can’t help but think about the things they miss most about a “normal school year.”

     One of the most notable changes is the lunch situation. At the moment, students eat lunch in their third-period classes while socially distanced. Some teachers play movies while others sit in silence with nothing to do.

   “We all just sat alone [in study hall during lunch] at like the one table we [each] had and you couldn’t talk to anyone,” said junior Shaela Runkle.

    Students want outdoor lunches so there can be less awkwardness in classrooms and less silence.

    “I like having the option to sit outside since I am indoors all day. It gives me time to go out,”  said sophomore Carter Ford.
Another normalcy students are missing is the extravagant performances put on by our theater, band, and chorus students. Many students wonder if there will be any performances this year, while others once again see outside performances as a viable option.

      “I miss seeing the shows [for] theatre. I wish there was a way to do that socially distanced… professional theatre is doing stuff outside like Shakespeare in the Park” said sophomore Emma Lefferts.

    The difficulty of outdoor performances is that performers would not be able to remove their masks and the point of being outside would be taken away. Another possibility was having shows/plays in the black box however it would be socially distanced allowing few people to watch.

    “I’m not really sure what the value of [having outdoor performances] is with masks on. A greater probability would be to do recording in other places and slice [videos] together but things may change,” said Theatre instructor David Mann.

    The protocol for all shows and concerts would require masks and social distancing. Administrators and chorus teacher Andrew Hoy have spent a lot of time looking at current research to perform in the safest way.

    “The students send in videos to me so I can listen to their progress and give them feedback… and then edit them and sync them up, that’s how we are doing our performances then we might move to outdoor performances,” said Hoy.

      While the fate of arts performances is still unknown, the procedures for club meetings have become more clear. Currently, students zoom into clubs during lunch on designated days to maintain a social distance but not being in the same room as classmates can make meetings frustrating and awkward.

   “With limitations, it’s very difficult… I’m not in the same clubs that I did last year because we are on zoom, I feel kind of weird talking about the club if no one else is a part of that club,” Runkle said.

      What may be the most obvious change is the lack of sporting events or spectators at the sporting events that do occur.

   “It’s really depressing that we aren’t going to have events or meetings where we can feel like a community. It lowers the morale of everyone and I miss interacting with everyone at sports games” said sophomore and varsity swimmer Johanna Kunz.

    Students are missing the support of their friends in person and the interactions they had each day. The pandemic has thrown the school year and student life into a flux, students hope to find a sense of normalcy by the end of the school year.