Editor’s note: The Canton Repository asked a student from Washington, GlenOak and Alliance high schools to share their experiences of going to school during the coronavirus pandemic. In August, the students shared their back-to-school experiences and now they’re giving us an update because the school year is at its halfway point. This is a look at Taylor Grant’s experience during the first half of the school year as a junior at Washington High School:
The school year is already halfway over and things are just as bizarre as they were when it first started.
Despite this, I feel that I have adapted well to the changes. It may sound crazy, but sometimes this school year feels completely normal. I find it odd to look back and remember school years without COVID-19 or mask mandates. Most of the time, I forget I’m even wearing my mask because I’m just so used to it.
More from Taylor Grant:Massillon junior feels like a freshman all over again
As the year has gone on, many students have come back from online school, making it difficult to tell that any of the student body is even missing. While some of my classes are still incredibly small with only six to 10 people, most of them have at least 15 students. There have been a few students that have left in-person school in favor of going online, but the number is so small that it can be hard to see the difference.
The regulations that were put in place at the beginning of the school year still stand in an attempt to prevent COVID-19 cases, but I am even more doubtful of them than I was at the beginning of the school year.
Many students still do not follow the directional guidelines in the hallway which leads to large groups of students bumping into each other. While the atrium is still a hotspot for crowds, the hallways seem to be getting just as bad. The disregard for the guidelines along with the influx of students from online makes it even harder to socially distance in the hallway.
I have noticed that many students still refuse to wear their masks properly. I honestly feel like it has only gotten worse from the beginning of the school year. I understand that masks can be uncomfortable and many people are tired of wearing them, but it is disheartening to see just how many people wear them improperly with no repercussions.
The school has seen a very high number of COVID-19 cases. This led to hundreds of students being quarantined and eventually classes moving online. Washington High School was online for two weeks before winter break.
Initially, I was worried that going online would feel just like it did back in the spring and I would start struggling again. But I found that it was run far better this year and was actually kind of enjoyable.
Students had to follow their normal schedule while classes were online. This meant logging in to the daily Google Meet at the time that your class would normally start. Some teachers would have students stay on the meet for the entire class period, while others took attendance then allowed students to leave to do their work.
It was nice to have lots of free time to do my work, but the best part was getting to stay home with my pets. The return from nearly a month of being home due to online classes and winter break was rough, but it wasn’t too difficult getting back into the swing of things.
All in all, this school year is going far better than I expected. While there are definitely still issues with the regulations, I understand the administration is doing the best it can with what it’s given.
I still worry about getting sick, but I am much less anxious than I was at the beginning of the school year. I want things to go back to “normal” more than anything, but things are going as good as they possibly can given the circumstances. I hope the rest of the school year runs as smoothly as possible for myself and my peers.
Meet Taylor Grant
Activities: I enjoy writing, video games, art and music. I’m editor-in-chief of the “Tiger Eye” newspaper. I work at Just Ice Cream and A Bit More in Brewster.
Post-high school plans: I plan on majoring in environmental science.