I know I’m a little late to the game on discussing coronavirus, but if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you might know that I pre-write and schedule my posts about a week/week and a half in advance, so that’s why this post is going up now. I am definitely not the most knowledgable person on the subject (although I have been obsessively checking Twitter for news) so I won’t bore you with a bad interpretation of the statistics- if you are looking for news, please read articles from a reputable news source or look at the CDC or WHO’s websites. As you are reading this, I am currently at home, with school out for the week. I just wanted to make a post explaining how different high schools are dealing with this issue differently, and the huge impact it’s having on our education.
Before I go more into depth, I just want to say that I am so privileged and blessed to be safe and healthy right now. I am not trying to complain in this post, just inform others on what’s going on in my area with school right now. I hope you are all staying healthy and safe as well. I live in Southern California in a county that has around 10 cases of the virus as I write this, probably more by the time you’re reading it, but we are not in lockdown/quarantine or anything at the moment. However, many private schools around my school district started shutting down last week, at the time that colleges nationwide were beginning to close. There was talk of my school district shutting down, but nothing was set until a sudden announcement on Thursday, March 12th that we would have school the next day (Friday), but school would be out the entire next week.
They were planning to reevaluate during the week off and decide if we would have to remain out of school, and what lesson plans would look like in that case. The most obvious choice would be virtual learning, but in a public school district there are some issues with that since some low-income kids don’t necessarily have access to computers or Internet, and places such as libraries where they could normally gain access are closed in this quarantine/public emergency situation. I’m not exactly sure how they plan to work around it if we have to stay out of school, but I’m assuming we won’t be going back so soon since one week won’t change much about the virus. During this first week of being off, teachers aren’t allowed to give us anything to work on- instead, they’re supposed to be developing their lesson plans for if we have to miss even more school.
Some of my teachers had speculated we’d be out until after our spring break (mid-April) was supposed to end, and my chemistry teacher even said she thought we might be out of class until May 1st. My AP Euro teacher (the only AP class I’m in this year) has no clue what he’s going to do for lesson plans and what will happen with the AP test. I know the March SAT got cancelled in my area, so a lot of juniors were upset about that after months of preparing. As far as AP testing, a lot of my teachers were saying it might get pushed back into summer, and that we might even get days of school extended into our summer break if we miss too much and we aren’t getting sufficient lesson plans.
I’m so confused on how everything is going to work and how there can be so many different predictions/expectations within just my school about what the rest of our semester is going to look like, but it varied a lot. Some of my teachers said they’re consider just cutting our grades off for the semester now and ending it there, some said we might have to extend the semester into summer once the virus dies off, some said we should be fine to do virtual learning, some said AP tests will be cancelled but we won’t get our money back, some said they’ll just be postponed. At this point, there’s no real point in predicting what’s going to happen as the situation is changing too often; my school switched plans 4 times in 48 hours, and now we don’t even know what we’re doing.
I was supposed to have class registration during this week that we’re missing (the juniors/rising seniors already did theirs, but freshmen and sophomores haven’t), and so I’ve missed that as well. That’s kind of a big deal, as junior year schedules are so important. However, other than that, I’m thankful to be a sophomore (for once!) rather than a junior or senior. I can’t imagine the stress of having SAT dates in limbo and so many AP tests in question (at least I only have 2 with 1 in class) as well as not being able to do college tours and not knowing how your second semester junior year grades will finish out. And for seniors, the possibility of all the second semester activities you look forward to for so long is so disappointing, as well as not being able to go to admitted student days for colleges to help pick where you want to go. I wish you juniors and seniors the best of luck; I know it’s stressful, but at least find comfort in that the whole world is dealing with this and colleges/schools/whoever will have to be understanding.
There’s also the fact that even though it’s a “break” from school, this is not fun or exciting! Not only is it boring to be cooped up in the house and discouraged from hanging out with friends, it’s nerve-wracking knowing that new developments related to the virus are constantly being released on the news, and the consequences and closures of public places are only spiraling even more out of control. I have no idea if I’ll be back at school next week, next month, or even longer. I don’t know how I’m supposed to learn and get a good foundation before taking super hard classes junior year, and I don’t even know how I’ll be registering for my junior year!
If anything, at least I have some time to reflect. I’ve been super go-go-go and busy lately, and something like this puts it into perspective what really matters. Remember to stay safe, wash your hands, and be smart in this strange time. I know as young people we’re not in imminent danger, but we do all probably have older relatives who are. Best of luck to any people displaced, quarantined, or affected in any way by this horrible pandemic.