By: Kimberly Gray
Greensburg Salem, like many other school districts, shut down in school learning in favor of virtual learning due to COVID-19. But there was more going on behind the scenes that could have a serious effect on students,
“We monitored how students can effectively social distance within the buildings,” Director of Secondary Education Dr. Ken Bissell said. “Also, the numbers that were coming in from the county, as far as numbers of cases in the buildings. I know we drew a line that if we had five teachers that were out whether it was for a positive test result, or because they were forced to quarantine, we were going to shut down.”
With a whirlwind of information coming from many different news outlets, it can be hard for people to decipher what is factual and what is not. However, decision makers, like the GS administration, have to take information from the top.
“We’re using state and county mandates and suggestions,” Dr. Bissell said. “As well as Department of Education and Department of Health guidelines.”
While some students are doing fine with the transition to virtual learning, others are not.
“I feel overwhelmed by the amount I have to do, which stresses me out,” freshman Sarah Faulk said. “When I stress out, I get less done and then more piles up and then I get more stressed and it just snowballs from there.”
Not being in school affects more than assignments and stress levels. There have been missed opportunities as well.
“I planned to run cross country for the first time this year after doing track last year and I was really looking forward to it, but my parents would not permit me to run because they didn’t want me having any unnecessary contact,” senior Ella Johnson said. “Also, I do mock trial and we have to do all of our trials completely online which is really challenging to adjust to.”
Not everyone agrees with the decisions that the GS administration made, and they made their voices heard.
“We received pushback form both sides,” Bissell said. “From closing, many people said ‘We want our kids in the building’ for many different reasons. We also had many people pushing us that we weren’t closing on time. I think that whatever decision we made there was going to be push back.”