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COVID-19’s effect on high school seniors


By Nikky Sims

October 30, 2020

Longmont, CO –

Rowdy football games, magical prom dates and graduation day where you get to walk across the stage to shake hands and say goodbye is the normal things high school students get to look forward to.

“We don’t get to do the normal high school things,” said Julia Dreisbach, a senior at Skyline High School. “There is no prom, no torch-passing and no football games.”

COVID-19 cases have now surpassed 100,000 in Colorado with little end in sight and yet many schools are back to in person learning.

Don Haddad the Superintendent of their school district discussed there reasoning for this in the virtual town hall meeting he held before the start of in person school.

Haddad and others discussed that they were working with health officials everyday to keep everyone safe while also keeping schools open.

Joie Siegrist even explained that decisions were made by stakeholders, local conditions and local experts. ”Our decisions are not rooted in political agendas,” Siegrist said.

Everyone in the town hall meeting explained the importance of going back to school but also how they have kept a watch on the statistics and health of everyone to pursue the opening.

“It will remain my commitment to prioritize everyone’s safety,” Haddad said. “I can only be sure that we are doing that if we are in alignment with our state and local health officials.”

Like most students this year, Dreisbach has gone back to school during a pandemic. She must face her last year of high school like nothing she has done before.

Senior year has had to look very different for her and others just to complete the twelve years she has been working for.

“It has been stressful because we don’t know what is going to happen,” said Sophie Kruse another senior at Skyline. “In-person school is normal except it has been corona-fied,” Kruse said. “There is weird, limited seating and masks on everyone.”

Skyline High School in Longmont, CO. has decided to go on a hybrid system just like many other schools across the country. They are in person for certain times of the week and then the rest of the time they are online.

“It is hybrid, with Monday and Tuesday being the days we are in person and Wednesday and Thursday are online,” said Kruse. “Fridays are all online and seems a bit crazy.”

Bringing students back into classes meant that schools must keep students safe and healthy.  There had to be rules set in place for everyone.

Haddad and his staff came up with the rules and procedures for the students coming back. They issued a statement after their town hall meeting.

The issued statement said, “Students in grades 9-12 will attend school on a hybrid schedule where they will be assigned to one of two groups.”

It continued to tell students that there would be two groups one which goes in Mondays and Tuesdays while the others go in on Wednesdays and Thursdays. There also will be no locker provided and physical distancing/mask are required.

“There is no communication anymore,” said Dreisbach. “We can’t even turn around in our chair to talk to other people in the class.”

However, there have been some highlights for these students during this difficult time. Some students have started to get creative in doing things they are missing out on.

 “My friends in 4-H and I had made a fake homecoming together,” said Kruse. “I have also been working out to keep myself busy.”

Dreisbach and Kruse are on the same swim team together and have been excited for the season to start too.

“We will only have seven meets and it will last for about a month,” said Dreisbach. “We don’t get to start until January and have no pre-season.”

Dreisbach and Kruse may have a few things going for them this year, but they also must think about their future.

Dreisbach is planning to go to Colorado State University next fall and Kruse is thinking about Stanford. Dreisbach is thinking about pursuing art and Kruse is thinking about political science.

“We had talked to schools before the pandemic hit and have even done some virtual meetings too,” said Kruse. “We haven’t been able to do much past that since we don’t entirely know what is going to happen in the future.”

Soon they will be graduating and moving on to life outside of high school however they must make it through their time in high school.

There has already been one graduating class that has had to go through COVID-19 restrictions when it came to the graduation, but the Class of 2021 must preserver through an entire year, not just a semester.

“I have been counting down the days,” said Kruse. “I am ready to go somewhere else.”

Both explained that the idea of senioritis has been getting to everyone graduating this year. “I think COVID-19 has heightened senioritis,” said Dreisbach.  “There have been no plans told to us yet about graduation either.”

School may not be ending anytime soon for them, but they do have some things awaiting them once it does.

“I will finally be able to be independent,” said Kruse. “We have learned how to be patient and optimistic which is something we can carry with us for the rest of our lives.”

Information on how COVID-19 might transfer between students. This explains why schools are taking certain precautions but not others. Source from website

Here is a photo of how Sophie sets up here workspace when she is at home. It also shows her looking up what she needs to do for the day. Photo taken by Sophie’s parents.

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