By: Musab Mohamud
A growing concern among Highland Park students is that the reopening of schools may spike COVID. Conversely, many students are excited to return to friends, teachers, and sports. A quote taken from one student, who is conflicted about both, reads “It’s better for learning, but not peoples health.” Released from the confines of quarantine, students are more likely to contract COVID evidenced by the spike of cases that has been surging since July.
However, Highland Park’s response to COVID has been exceedingly positive with no outbreaks or school closures. This is in part due to the school’s insistence on a mask mandate and teachers giving gentle reminders to students.
Students are pleasantly surprised with their peers following mask rules and being courteous with sanitation.
Lunchrooms might however pose a problem with students being seated in close quarters with their masks down. However, with the implementation of contract tracing and scanning where students sit in the cafeteria, I believe, that Highland is being responsible for their students.
Many students fear that their sudden reintegration into a school environment will affect their grades negatively. A quote that shows this is: “I think Highland has had a fair response to COVID, my teachers should definitely assign less work though.” This sentiment is shared by many students whose grades continue to falter.
However, on the opposite side of the spectrum there are multiple students who I’ve interviewed who believe that seeing their teachers will help academically. A quote by one of those individuals goes: “I like it more because we can experience real life learning again, it’s more efficient.”
Overall, most students share the belief that Highland has shown competence in their dealings with reopening. Some may have apprehension and fear about going back, but the feeling is overwhelmingly positive.