For seniors, the drastic changes to this school year has impacted their futures more than others. It holds a lot of uncertainty for what could happen or how futures will look in college or wherever they may choose to go. Between last spring and now, everyone has seen many changes and adapted plenty of obstacles.
Home-based students (at Home)
Junior Hannah McComas is home-based for second semester, but has positive feelings about the frames of second semester.
"My favorite thing about the new schedule is that we still have asynchronous Wednesdays to get work done," McComas said. "My least favorite part is the longer class times, except since I am staying home it doesn't affect me much at all. I actually get out of class earlier than I did before. I think DHS has done a really nice job at limiting the amount of students around each other at once and as long as students are following the new guidelines it will slow down or prevent outbreak."
Everyone has different levels of comfort when it comes to being around people during a pandemic. Some people are more comfortable being around people than others. Those who decided to stay home-based could have done it for any sort of reason. Maybe they weren’t ready to be around people, or they didn’t want to risk getting themselves or their families sick, or maybe they enjoyed the flexibility of staying at home.
To better understand their reasons for staying home, and their feelings about this home-based learning model, we reached out to some students and asked them to share some of their thoughts.
“I do enjoy my freedom being home-based," junior Madi Brancheau said. "I think that DHS has taken the right precautions and it should help slow the spread of Covid in the school but not stop it completely."
Junior Olivia Teachout, on the other hand, liked the pre-Covid schedule better.
"There really isn't anything I like about the schedule," Teachout said. "It just seems very stressful and confusing for everyone. I mean I can see good aspects about it, but it seems more stressful than anything."
Junior Lindsey Hartman isn't a fan of the new schedule either, but her concern is more about students not following Covid protocols.
“My Favorite part about the hybrid schedule is nothing really; I don’t like it," Hartman said. "I think in classrooms it's easier to be safe because teachers can monitor students, but you can't really control kids when they're out in halls and I feel like teachers aren't gonna care really because it's really hard to control stuff like that outside the classroom.”
Home-room (at school)
Senior Emma Hodder feels comfortable with the home-room option at DHS.
“My favorite thing about the hybrid schedule is that we still get to do in-person school while limiting our exposure to other students since we only are in the building with about a third of the total population at a time," Hodder said. "All in all, I appreciate the measures that DHS has taken to make this experience as safe as possible."
Most of the school body chose to come back to school in some capacity; Nearly 800 students of the approximately 1,200 DHS students opted to be back in the classroom according to an initial report.
That could mean those people were either tired of being stuck in their house, wanted to be able to actually experience a semi-normal school year, or they aren’t afraid of Covid (or all three!).
Everyone seems to have a different perspective and opinion. But everyone shares the same goal: to keep the school and ourselves safe and healthy.
"I like that we are able to go back in person and see the people that we know," junior Andy Jordan said. "I do not like having to wake up early again, but I do think that if the teachers keep doing what they are currently doing to prevent the coronavirus pandemic from spreading, then there will be very minimal spread."
Junior Emma Hodder said she is having trouble adjusting to the longer class periods and a different homework load.
“My least favorite thing is that each class period is very long and we’re using an entire school day but only seeing half of our classes," Hodder said. "It makes it a lot harder to not be behind in the coursework when we only see each class two days a week”.
Senior Kelsey Walter had an opposite perspective.
"I like how we didn’t try and squish all six classes into one day again," Walter said. "This better prepares us for college and takes a lot of stress off of us with not as much homework every night. I dislike how much the schedule was changed, because it seemed once I got a handle on it, it was changed again.”
Junior Max Nakon said he's trying to find the positives in a time filled with plenty of negatives.
"Of course I miss the freedoms that come with a regular school day such as talking to my friends in the hall or messing around in lunch, but for the most part I think the new model could be much worse," Nakon said.
Senior Lauren See has learned to enjoy one of the things we seem to have taken for granted for so long: being with others.
“It's nice to see people interacting with one another again, but still doing it safely,” See said.
Junior Cole Arnedt feels Dexter is going above and beyond with safety protocols.
“I have talked to kids from other schools and from what I have heard it seems like Dexter is taking more precautions than other schools even," Arnedt said.
The teachers and staff had no choice on whether or not they would stay home or go back to school. As teaching is their job, they had to come back to school to teach their students. Every week, all day, for four, or five, days a week. Being exposed to many more people every week than students can pose an extra risk. But without risk there's no reward. Teachers being able to teach in person again is very rewarding for them since they haven’t been able to do it for ten months.
"I think it's beneficial to be able to check in with individuals a bit," said Josh Jetton, a new teacher at DHS this year. "My students, so far, are doing way better at turning in their work. So that is a huge benefit. I think it'll get smoother as we all get used to it.”
Science teacher Leslie Tracy also feels the benefits of in-person learning.
“My favorite thing about hybrid is seeing my students and making a meaningful connection in-person," Tracy said. "I appreciate all the measures that have been taken to ensure our safety. I think it is impossible to have groups of people together and not have the possibility of an outbreak. I will love to get all students back into the classroom as soon as it's safe for everyone.”