One-hundred self quarantined students add to the multitudes of isolated peers


Artwork by Faith Ortega

A dark cloud hangs over  John Holmes’ first period AP world history class as they drag their chromebooks out of their bags. The usual morning slump is not the only reason they lack energy this morning, they are greeted with a classroom of 50% empty desks. In all subjects, the class sizes are decreasing by the day, leaving classes like Holmes’ first period with about half the population. 

Obviously, many students aren’t attending school in person because they have come in contact with a positive testing classmate, but about 100 students are choosing to self-quarantine from school. According to assistant principal  Curtis Gladden, the district is allowing all parents to request a self-quarantine for their student for 10 school days.  

“The district is allowing students to participate in before and after school activities while voluntarily quarantining,” Gladden said. 

One of these self quarantined students is junior Macey Wyler. Wyler is on the golf team and chose to self isolate when she saw the rapid spread of COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks. 

“I could control what I was doing outside of school as far as staying safe and not going to places where I might be exposed, but I can’t control what the people around me in classes are doing,” Wyler said. 

Wyler is also worried about staying healthy and able to attend their state tournament, so this was her main concern when deciding to stay home.

 “I would say I’m keeping up pretty well, it’s really easy to slack off and not do your work when you’re in self quarantine,” Wyler said. 

Although this is a challenge, she says she works best on her own. She even would consider going full virtual at some point if our school were to offer a virtual option. Remote learning is easy for golf players, as they usually practice on their own anyways. According to Wyler, she prefers practicing on her own because she isn’t restricted to one course. 

Mr. Holmes is most concerned with quarantined students keeping up with their assignments and fully understanding the content from home. He worries about the fairness between quarantine and full time students, and the substantial amount of self-quarantined students doesn’t help. 

“I’m not sure if fairness can come into it, I’m going to try to allow the students that are in class to have those same advantages of those students who will not be in class,” Holmes said. 

It is difficult for Holmes and other teachers alike to determine whether or not they are understanding the content. It is especially important that students in pre-AP and AP classes are keeping up with the fast paced class style and work load. 

“It’s easier to assess if students are getting it or not, if they’re in the room, because they can raise their hand, they can ask questions, you can ask clarifying questions,” Holmes said. 

Teachers understand that the decision to allow students to self-quarantine is in the district’s hands, and that this will be yet another complication for students and teachers to manage. 

“Sort of like this year, I mean, it’s just something that we’re just going to have to deal with, do the best we can with it and hopefully, things will get better as the year progresses,” Holmes said.