What Lockdown is Really Like: Through the Eyes of a Student

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Young woman with laptop computer for homework. Tired hispanic girl and college education. Female student studying and using pc at home getting headache

Sierra Pirkey

March of 2020 seemed great at first. All the students in our school heard the news that spring break would be expanded another week, and we would have two full weeks off. This meant more time to lay in bed, hang with friends, and watch movies. Yet, what we didn’t know was that we wouldn’t be returning to school any time soon, and would most likely not see our friends for months. What first sounded like a much-needed break soon became imprisonment inside our own homes. 

Recently, with the increase of positive cases of COVID-19 in neighboring areas, some school districts have once again returned to at-home learning. Many schools in the Denver area have shifted to at-home learning following the holiday break. An estimate of around 20 schools in this area shifted to this style of learning, and schools all across the state are having similar thoughts. 

But, what does this mean for the students? Through personal conversations, as well as personal thoughts, returning to at-home learning is not a favored option. Many students have even made claims that due to online school, their knowledge of topics covered during this time is minimal. Some students even claim that they didn’t learn a single thing during online school. While it is clear that these statements are an exaggeration, it has been proven that students did not retain information as well during the online learning structure. In 2019, 43.2% of the students who participated in the AP Calculus BC received a 5 on the exam. This course is thought to be one of the hardest many high schools have to offer, and almost always the brightest students participate in this specific course. This past testing day for this exam in 2021, however, showed that only 38.3% of students received a 5 on the exam. While this doesn’t seem like a huge drop to many, this data shows that even the brightest students all over the state had a decrease in the information they retained. This is shown through the decrease of top scores on the exam. Not only is at-home learning not a favored option by many students, but it is also debilitating to the learning of our students. 

Probably one of the hardest parts of being forced to partake in on-line learning, however, was the lack of social interactions. Students are all at a very important age where social interactions are key in their development. Many students who don’t participate in extracurricular activities or things outside of school only really interact with peers their age at school. This time, while often dreaded by kids, is actually very beneficial because it allows for students to develop their much needed social skills. When the country was put on lockdown, and social distancing was put in place, many students of our own school went weeks, and even months, without seeing their friends. Being alone in a brand new situation, and having no place to gather and discuss these events left many kids feeling more alone than ever. Anxiety, as well as depression, rose in most children across the country. Having to return to at-home learning would only separate students from one of the most important social times of their lives and would heighten these negative feelings and emotions. 

Many teachers and students alike fear that the inevitable is coming. Districts all over Denver have already begun to return to at-home learning, and there is constant worry that this too will become our fate. Returning to at-home learning would not only be detrimental to the learning of the students, but would also greatly impact the social skills that are necessary in the world. It is still unclear if this is a fate that could become of Berthoud High School, but students alike have made it clear that they would like to avoid this at all costs. Only time will tell what the future holds for students at BHS and across the country.