Covid’s Changes on the 2020-2021 school year

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Sammie Smulyan ’22 and Caroline Donahue ’23 posing 6 feet apart Photo Credit: Elisabeth Porter ’23

Will Gibson '24, Staff Writer

We all have heard about COVID-19, seeing as it has practically shifted our world upside down. As Covid has been declared a pandemic for over a year, it was bound to bring some changes to everyday lives. Some teachers and students spoke on some of the biggest or most unnoticable changes that may pass over some others’ heads. The school year set up for this year was way different and way more rigorous than past years. 

When asked about some of the changes about the school year’s setup, Mrs. LaMaster, the main who helped set up this school year, acclaimed “We went around and measured out every classroom with a 6 foot pole. I had to make sure that every chair was 6 feet apart, and I had to pull out all of the extra chairs. I also had to learn how to read public health data. I also had to help out all of the other Jesuit schools in the U.S. and Canada, so I learned how to give the ISTEP test and Summer School.” 

When asked about the positives that came out of this experience, Mrs. LaMaster responded “We had such amazing conversations on what makes a good assessment, and teachers trying new things. I call and text with other colleagues that I don’t talk to very often. The new technology has been very cool to work with. It helped us realize that we weren’t as good at things as we thought we were.” 

Although the tough and laborious set up for the school year was more difficult in the moment, attendance has been tracked all throughout the year, and might have been one of the trickiest aspects of this year. When asked about the attendance “issues” of struggles with online school, Mrs. McKinney Torres said  “Keeping track of kids at home or at school. Making sure we stay as safe as possible, and online classes attendance can be a little tough to manage. It’s a good challenge though, it keeps us on our toes.”  When asked about the preparation for this school year, She said “For the 2020-2021 school year, we were very well prepared, but last march, we were just trying to figure it all out, and do what we can.” 

 

When talking to teachers about this school year, you can get a great idea of what goes on behind the scenes, but they have a different perspective than the students at Brebeuf. When asked about some of the most drastic changes from this year to prior years, Simon Torosian Class of ‘23 exclaimed 

“We use more online tools like quizlet more, and our paper and pencil work has changed to a very miniscule amount.” Torosian then went on to talk about some of the changes in specific classes, saying “ In Chemistry, we don’t do lots of hands-on and complex labs, and the amount of material we learned went down drastically.”

COVID has been one twisty roller coaster, and everyone at Brebeuf is glad to take it on head first as one whole unit.

Sammie Smulyan ’22 and Caroline Donahue ’23 posing 6 feet apart
Photo Credit: Elisabeth Porter ’23