The effect of COVID on public schools

COVID has effected public schools in many different ways: the way we learn, how our schedules are, and how sports work for the up and coming season.

Lafayette High School sitting empty of students because of COVID. Many still wonder how everything will work out and if things will ever go back to normal.

Lafayette High School sitting empty of students because of COVID. Many still wonder how everything will work out and if things will ever go back to normal.

Luke Hanson getting rushed by the defense as he throws the football. Fall sports are up and running in WJCC public schools. As you can see though, masks must be worn by coaches.

Public schools have been affected greatly due to COVID and especially in WJCC. WJCC has been online for the entire 1st semester and are now giving an option to go back or stay online. Winter sports have been canceled and the fall and spring seasons have been pushed back and shortened. Parents, students, and coaches are entirely happy with how everything is playing out but realize the correct precautions need to be taken.

Due to COVID, all public schools sports fields were closed. If you were found using fields that had closed signs on them, it could possibly lead to a suspension.

Ledger staff reporter Luke Hanson interviewed, Dane Hanson who is not only a baseball coach but also a parent of 4. Mr. Hanson kept returning to the idea of not letting this situation take over our lives and become the new normal. “The right pro cautions need to be taken but our kids need to be learning in person and playing sports again,” he said. He added that he’s not worried about getting it because he is doing the correct things to prevent infection. Mr. Hanson also discussed the ways COVID has impacted his life. “Work has been a little all over the place and with my kids at home its tough. Being a coach for my younger son (Jake) has been very interesting seeing how everything plays out and to see if we will play in NY this summer. My older son, who I don’t coach, has been on complete hold with high school sports. I do believe at this point it is safe to start up and build everything back up.”  When asked whether he believes we are going to be able to fully attend class by the end of the year and second have fans for sports games, he said, “If we stay online all year for this year, they should at least attempt for full capacity next year. Sporting events should at least allow parents to attend to watch their kids play, especially seniors parents.” This situation cannot get the best of us and become the new normal, Mr. Hanson insisted.

A computer has been everyone’s best friend during online school. Without it, nothing would be possible. It is starting to become normal to wake up and have school online.

Ledger staff reporter Blake Townsend sought another parent’s point of view about the effect on public schools with COVID. Shannon Townsend, who is a mother of 2 and a hair stylist. Ms. Townsend said she thinks that the fact that we are still online is ridiculous and she wants students back in school asap. She says that as a hairstylist being around multiple customers every week, she still hasn’t gotten the virus there’s no reason the school shouldn’t just give it a shot. Truly, she thinks that if the schools keep a close track record on every student in case someone does in fact get infected, they could control the situation very fast and keep the rest of the students in school.

When it comes to sports, she feels like outdoor sports are just fine and only allowing immediate family in the stands.  For indoor sports she thinks it could also be fine if everyone is socially distanced and again only immediate family. Overall, Shannon Townsend said that this online schools this is a huge stressor, and she is happy that the school’s system is finally beginning to take steps forward with the hybrid teaching plan.

During school or any sports event. Coaches and teachers must wear a mask. As seen in the photo, Aaron Zimmerman’s soccer coaches are required to always have one on.

Ledger staff reporter Aaron Zimmerman spoke with Lafayette senior Walker Brewer about where he stands on the topic.  “I’m not a huge fan of the current situation, I like being independent but I also miss seeing my friends,” said the senior. He shared how all of this has made him feel and where he wants this pandemic to go. “At first it made me kind of upset, but everyone was going through the same thing, and now I’m pretty content with it. Obviously, I want things to go back to normal as soon as possible.” As for whether he wants to return to school, Brewer said, “I don’t want to go back because I’m scared of getting COVID, I’ve had to quarantine twice now from being exposed and I was bored out of my mind.” With the proposition of going back for half the day in person, we wanted to know how he felt about that compared to the remote learning we’re experiencing now. “I feel like we’re not learning as much online either, so getting out at lunch time during in-person instruction wouldn’t be much of a difference.” We asked him why he didn’t think he was learning as much “The motivation and drive just isn’t there, especially being a senior and almost being done with high school.”

Lafayette High School is very big on their athletics program and the majority of students all participate in sports at the school. Walker has run cross country and track and field, swam, and played soccer for the rams. We asked him about his thoughts on trying to return to the field.  “I played in an indoor soccer league and everything was fine, so I think school sports should resume,”  he said.  “I think for sports in Wanner Stadium, it wouldn’t be hard to socially distance, plus it’s outdoors so I think fans should be able to attend at a normal capacity. Football might be a little different since they get significantly more fans than soccer and field hockey, but our football team relies a lot on the noise from our student section and we can definitely find a way to safely implement our traditions.”

UPDATE: we have recently learned that there will be no fans in attendance of our fall sports, and the same may be true for the spring sports as well. From a student’s perspective, it has to be difficult being cheated out of the second half of your junior year and your entire senior year. We’re glad to see that some students have found ways to adapt and make the most out of these trying times.

The main essentials we truly need for school if we are ever to go back. The funny thing is: we might not even need the pencil. Everything will still be online!

Ledger staff reporter Colin Kinzig interviewed elementary school teacher Mandi Kinzig about effects Covid-19 had on Public schools. Mrs. Kinzig has been teaching 4th grade for 6 years and has some experience teaching but nothing got her ready for this shut down of public schools. She declared that this is a whole new learning experience for everyone. She expressed concern that students could not get 1 on 1 help with their teachers, and this is difficult because almost all kids need help learning. Mrs. Kinzig also made the observation that school dances will not go back to normal anytime soon. Overall, she is happy with the decision making as it has evolved, regarding staying online or going back in person. Mrs. Kinzig expressed sincere sympathy for administration, because she is getting stressed out and she can only imagine what they are going through.