Homework is the new classwork: COVID-19’s impact on students

As students spend more time in isolation, many are beginning to realize the negative effects that the school’s closure will have on our community.

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Students are each affected differently by the school’s closure, and the circumstance has left the student body confused as to what will be done to put the community back on track.

Story by The Editorial Staff

   Swapping 6 a.m. alarms and overcrowded classrooms for endless snoozing and movie marathons amidst the COVID-19 outbreak posed an instantly gratifying solution to the stress students were facing in the middle of their second semester. But after two weeks of isolation, seemingly meaningless hibernation, and an overdose of sensationalized news, students are beginning to realize that the situation is escalating. Closing the gates of Mission Hills has made us realize that MHHS offers all of us the support, safety, and security that we have come to rely on.

   “The school’s closure can be stressful for certain populations, especially those with financial needs. Some very basic human needs are met by the school, such as food. Our amazing Child Nutrition Services (CNS) staff work hard every day to help our students have access to healthy meals. Access to technology and the internet, for some, only happens at school. The district has worked very hard to get food, computer devices, and access to the internet to our families in need. And, perhaps most important, the social interaction and support that school provides is something we are aware of,” said Mrs. Baker, a school counselor.

  Babysitting and taking care of relatives leaves studying at the bottom of most students’ to-do lists as they adjust to working at home and being isolated. And as the school year comes to an end, many are left wondering how the school’s closure will affect their academic preparedness and long-anticipated, once-in-a-lifetime memories. Physically attending school, though considered a daunting obligation, gives structure to an adolescent’s life by providing the proper academic environment for students to remain motivated and feel supported. Maintaining academic integrity from home is a student’s obligation, no matter the circumstance. For upperclassmen, applying or preparing to go to college is still an approaching reality that cannot be placed in the backburner due to the process’ lengthy and time-sensitive nature.

   “For juniors, I think it’s a very stressful time due to the cancellation of the SAT and ACT along with the unknown of what’s going to be expected by colleges in order to apply. For the underclassmen, they’re missing out on crucial time to adjust and have proper high school experiences. Knowing that the school will be closed for the rest of the year is particularly stressful for me because I know that I have a hard time concentrating at home and that’s making it harder for me to fully apply myself and reach my potential for my grades. I truly feel sorry for those who use school as an escape and a way to have a type of community, as I know that is true for a lot of people who attend school,” Chloe Toper (11) said.

   “As a senior, I feel devastated that school closed because that could mean we don’t get a graduation, prom, or a grad night which are events that a lot of people look forward to. I’m also scared that I’m going to miss out on a lot of learning that could prepare me for college,” Brenda Camacho (12) said.

   Not doing your schoolwork may seem harmless but keeping up with your learning will ensure that you are ready to move on to the next school year. Whether you are preparing to transition into a new class or a new school next fall, missing out on the last few months of your learning could jeopardize your academic timeline. Be aware of your resources for both your academic and emotional needs, and keep up with new deadlines and test dates. Stay focused and keep yourself accountable and on track for the remainder of the school year. While this is a good time to pick up some hobbies or have leisure, this is not a time to disregard schoolwork and ignore your Google Classroom notifications. Teachers spend their days working to figure out how to prepare their students for AP exams and college, and it would be foolish to not take advantage of all the resources being presented to you.

   “MHHS is a special place, and what makes it special is YOU! Please check in with yourselves and with each other, and please reach out for help and ask questions whenever you want. It is okay to be honest with yourself and really be aware of what you need. No judgment. There are 24/7, free support systems out there (if you need help finding these just let me know) and MHHS staff is just an email away.  It is important to process our feelings in a healthy way and truly be patient with ourselves through this. We are in this together. We will get through this together. We are Grizzlies together,” Mrs. Baker said.

How did you feel when you heard the news about the school's closure?

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