How WJCC Schools Have Adapted To The Pandemic

As the pandemic surges on for about two years now we take a look at how the WJCC has been able to help its families, faculties, and students in the schooling environment.


Courtesy of WJCC Schools

The rocks outside of the WJCC schools have been there since the beginning of time. They are always painted to show support or show news of something happening in the district or the school. In this particular picture this is Lafayette’s rock and it is painted to welcome back students into the school.

Coronavirus struck the world by surprise and has had an everlasting effect on all of us. In Williamsburg James City county there has been a lot of changes and surprises everyday. Taking a closer look at the schools, there has been winter sports canceled, online school and then back in person school, and a number of changes the students have had to adapt too.

Last year when Covid was first introduced into the united states in 2019/2020 the schools sent their students home. They had the students do work online and attend classes through watching videos and in zoom classes. The feelings from that school year must have had left a good taste in the mouth of the school board. Just a few tweaks here and there to regulate the grades a bit more and they felt it would be all good. This feeling would not be shared with the students. Coming into this year some majors changes had been put in place. Strict timelines for classes taking up whole days when other school distracts across the state were looser and still achieving the same results in the classroom. I talked to a student from Warhill high school named Caroline Paul, during the interview she was asked about her first impression of school after the first couple of weeks online and she said “they tried harder to engage us and help us learn, but there is only so much you can do over a computer screen”. The school district tried to make it as transparent as possible for all students to learn but some need more than countless hours looking at a computer screen.

In the WJCC the Lafayette Rams are the strongest side in out of the three schools. Crushing their neighbors Warhill and Jamestown each year. In the picture you see the team in motion at practice preparing for their season to begin, the players were very happy to hear they would have a season this year.

One major change some students had a problem with was the cancelation of the winter sports for this school year. After a drowsy year of sitting at home and fields being closed athletes were dying to get back out there and play the sport they love. This wasn’t frowned upon by many because a lot of people knew the dangers of the pandemic and the virus. Fall sports were still in the wind at the beginning of the year depending on the virus, Athletes and students were delighted to hear the news that they wouldn’t be cancelled. Sports like football have had a pretty good time adjusting to the regulations and have been able to proceed in the start of the season without many issues. The other night two WJCC teams Lafayette and Jamestown went head to head and the Lafayette rams came out on top after a 44-7 victory. Just makes you think could the season have been fine if it wasn’t canceled earlier this year.

The school board had the WJCC schools on half day classes. For some students this has given them more time to do other things like home work and sports by themselves. Comparing this period to the beginning of the year the classes took up the whole entire day and gave athletes little time to do things like work out or practice on their own time. If these athletes had played club sports out of school they also would have had to adjust their schedule to fit both arrangements.

Another thing that the board has done that might have been an issue is the keeping cameras on in the classroom. It is an important factor to some of these kids to have their privacy in their own home. Teachers have been abusing this power to an extent that even if a student has the camera on and you can maybe see the ceiling or the top of the head they won’t count the student there. This isn’t all teachers in the WJCC, but there are some. To add to this the schools’ days have been switched back to full day. The school board has irrationally changed this without taking consideration all the facts. Schools across the WJCC have had kids pop up with covid on the half day schedule. Lauren Adams, a Lafayette High School Junior, shared her thoughts on this difficult school and the decisions that have been made governing the school day. “I wish WJCC took more consideration of the students and teachers, whom everything is effecting the most.” Now that the schools are in a full day class system the students are forced to sit in the room doing nothing for hours on end breathing in the contaminated air non stop. As for lunches the students have one chance to sit down with all their belonging in a designated zone to eat lunch, they are not allowed to move from the seat. They are then escorted back to the class, as if they were prisoners. Schools have been compared to prison for years, but if this isn’t a compelling piece of evidence then what is?

The signs outside of the wjcc schools along with the infamous rocks are just some of the things students are going to have to get used to seeing again.

Today in the WJCC it is completely different from last year or even the start of this year. We have sports being played and kids enjoying themselves out on the field again for the first time in a long time. The first group of kids went back to in person school about a week ago. But with all this change it was destine for something to go wrong. At Lafayette inside the WJCC district they reported their first covid case just a week and a half after students had returned to campus. There was also a case at other schools one being Toano middle school. If the district wishes to continue to safely have the students at schools there might have to be some changes made.

The WJCC school board has created an environment in the district to which they see to be the fittest with the pandemic, in which students and teachers have had to deal with everchanging schedules among other difficulties throughout the year. There are numerous ways the WJCC needs to improve. Maybe they could genuinely get the input from students in the district or observe themselves the day to day of the class, one other thought could be having them sit at home or at school for an extended period of time when the instruction and class work takes only a small fraction of the overall time the class has been intended to have. These are just a few ways the WJCC school board can improve and help the kids and not just worry about the economics or the politics of the situation which they have been from the start.