Students reflect on the third year anniversary of COVID-19


BSM instagram

Students in the Knight Errant 2 years ago during COVID.

March 13th, 2020, is a day that almost every student remembers vividly. Schools closing down for the COVID-19 pandemic changed the course of everyone’s life, but had a severe impact on teenagers and schools. BSM prioritized health by creating hybrid days and modifications to ensure student safety. This dramatically altered the atmosphere of BSM, some large changes becoming permanent. So, what’s changed?

Several measures were taken by the school to make it as safe as can be. Masks became enforced, desks were moved to be six feet apart, and social distancing was imposed on all levels due to the lack of positive results from masks. COVID-19 introduced something that has now become standard at BSM, which is the block schedule. In order to minimize social contact, the typical 8 period day shortened into 4. This meant longer classes, going from 40 minutes to 80. “During the pandemic, we tried to limit numbers and we tried to restrict spacing of desks and all those kinds of things…and we’re still on that block schedule,” Assistant Principal Matt Weingartz said.

This is the first year that I’ve started to feel like it’s starting to feel back to normal. It’s been a lot more of a positive year.

— Matt Weingartz

One major change to schools and the world was the integration of Zoom into daily lives. Most teenagers have had to learn from a screen at least at one point in their life. However, no student was prepared for the significant amount of time in which students would have to do this. Logging onto zoom meetings for a class became the norm, which in turn impacted the way students learn. BSM had 10th, 11th, and 12th graders on a hybrid learning schedule, meaning that they were in person for half of the week; and on zoom for the other. Over time, some began to notice the detrimental influence this had on children. Students were falling behind in subjects essential to be successful in high school, creating more and more people having to retake courses. This created large numbers of students in classes years behind their grade level. “I wonder if some students don’t feel the confidence to take some of the classes that they might have…they might have just been like, ‘you know what, I’m gonna try this class, even though it might be harder for me.’ I think some students feel nervous about that and they’re still getting their feet wet with trying to get back into the type of student that they could be,” counselor Amy Larson said.

Overall, many have argued that the general aspect and culture of BSM has evolved since COVID-19. Although the block schedule has stayed, many things at BSM have adapted. The lunch room tables that required two to a seat now sit many, masks at school have become almost nonexistent, and there are rarely any students learning from zoom. “This is the first year that I’ve started to feel like it’s starting to feel back to normal. It’s been a lot more of a positive year. I think just even the stress of the pandemic was on students, on staff, on everybody. And it was a long time, three years. So I think just the overall stress, I think is less,” Weingartz said.