How has the pandemic affected students in schools outside NA?

Students’ experiences with COVID-19 precautions vary from district to district and state to state.

Kat Klinefelter, Staff Writer

It was January 11, when Hampton Roads Academy junior Cassie Dornan was quarantined. Hampton Roads Academy is a small private school in Newport News, Virginia, with only about 600 students. Her school enforces masks and quarantining people when a family member tests positive for COVID-19. 

Despite these precautions, Dornan spent one week at home without much in the way of remote learning accommodations.

“Some teachers posted their work online, but others didn’t communicate with me at all,” Dorman told the Uproar.

However, COVID-19 measures have looked different across school districts as well as across the country. 

We’re all tired of the pandemic, honestly. We’re tired of masking, but we’re also tired of getting sick.”

— Parker Herbst, Lindbergh HS senior

Here at NASH, where there are around 1400 students and staff in the building daily, masks remain required.  However, at Moe & Gene Johnson High School in Buda, Texas, which enrolls almost 2,000 students, masks are encourage but not required.

“My government class, which is meant to have 30 students, only has five students, including me,” Robyn Lampel, a senior at Johnson HS, said, “Most people have enough common sense to quarantine when they contract COVID, and with how my school is handling the pandemic, it is not abnormal for over 75% of the class to be absent.” 

The Moe and Gene Johnson website includes a message saying that buses may be late because of a shortage of bus drivers. It isn’t only students who are being quarantined — it’s also teachers and support staff.

“I feel very unsafe, even though I double mask and I am vaccinated.” Lampel added. 

Ingrid Cristofoletti is a senior at a performing arts school in Newark, New Jersey.  Cristofoletti told the Uproar that every day before students enter the building, they must do a series of tasks to prevent the possibility of spreading the virus, including symptom screening, a temperature check, and hand sanitizing. There are sneeze guards on desks and counters, and students are socially distanced during classes and lunch. 

Some schools, like C. E. Jordan High School in Durham, South Carolina mandate masks but also incorporate optional mask breaks. During these breaks, students are taken outside and allowed to remove their masks for about ten minutes. 

“I believe that my school is handling the rise in cases well,” said Derek Hunter II, a junior at Jordan HS. “They offer COVID testing every Tuesday if you sign up for it so that you always know your health status. When students test positive, the school removes the student fairly quickly and alerts the parents of the kids who have been deemed in close contact.”

Like Hunter, students across the country are dealing with the challenges that come with going to a large school district. 

Parker Herbst is a senior at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis, Missouri, which holds around 2,200 students and staff. The school has taken precautions similar to those in effect at North Allegheny, such as required masking and quarantining. But Herbst noted that many students at his school do not wear their masks properly and that the policies are hard to enforce.

“We’re tired of the pandemic, honestly,” Herbst said. “We’re tired of masks, but we’re also tired of getting sick.”