An Interruption to the New “Normal”

As we approach the new year, BHHS reflects on the ongoing pandemic and the school closure it brought in November.

By Ella Javorsky

The year 2020 has encountered many challenges and changes regarding the educational system. It has been a big adjustment for all students, educators, and families. Just as everyone was adjusting to the new “normal,” things took a turn, and once again change erupted. 

On October 27th, the district was informed of two high school students testing positive for COVID-19. That evening, two more cases were reported; therefore, the school switched to a remote schedule for the following three school days. All athletics and extracurricular activities were canceled. All of the cases that were reported had been linked to a social event outside of school. Contact tracing began immediately, and more and more students who were exposed through classes were notified to quarantine. For the next three days, Google Meet attendees practically doubled, and teachers taught from their living rooms without a mask rather than in the classroom. It was a big adjustment, but the beneficial technology of Jamboards, screen sharing, and breakout rooms helped ensure productivity and effective learning even through a computer screen. 

By the afternoon of November 1st, eight total cases had been reported, and they were all linked to the previous ones. At this point, 128 students and 20 staff members at BHHS were quarantined due to possible exposure. Due to the lack of in-person educators to run their programs safely, the high school extended remote learning until November 12th. For many students, this was extremely disappointing. Learning from a bedroom does not compare to the classroom setting, and the rise of cases brought fear to many families. Everyone coped well, but this outbreak was sudden and unexpected.

During the chaos and uncertainty of this outbreak, it was important to remain sympathetic towards all students and teachers. One shouldn’t blame another for testing positive or contributing to the outbreak. We are living through crazy times, and a positive case at some point is inevitable. However, the school worked extremely hard to contact trace and implement safety precautions to ensure that we were back in the building as soon as possible. They did and are continuing to do everything that they can to protect their students and faculty members. In addition to our peers, it is also extremely important to support our teachers through remote learning. This is a major adjustment for everyone, and the teachers are battling through remote learning with us and dedicating their time to further our education. As students, we are in control of what we take away from remote learning. Participation and showing our gratitude for the faculty is essential to enhance our learning experience. 

COVID-19 has brought uncertainty, fear, and anxiety to all. The recent outbreak sparked change in the new system that we had just adapted to. However, there are many lessons to be learned from the change we are experiencing. It is vital to remain positive during the chaos, even when things seem to be at their worst. We are all in this fight together, and unity during this time will help to assuage our worries and problems.