Students struggle with COVID-marred return to classes

Rayana Camilo, Staff Writer

Within the first five days of school, 13 teachers and approximately 100 students were quarantined, leading to a disjointed return to classes.

Junior Ajaris Rosario said the discontinuation of a remote-learning option has made the first month more difficult.

“I believe that e-learning should have continued, but only for those that are sent home or sick with COVID-19,” said Rosario, who was an e-learner last fall. “It would ensure that kids were still learning and not behind when they got back to school. If the schools were worried about academic integrity they could have made a make-up day for tests and waited until the students were able to go back to school to take their tests instead of taking them at home.“

Junior Gabrielle Cintron, who also was an e-learner last year, said she wishes that option remained.

“I liked online school,” she said. “It kept everyone safe, including the teachers. It was also just easier to keep up with assignments.”

Last month, Madison Middle School in Titusville temporarily shut down due to a large number of COVID-19 cases, and students there were able to continue instruction via a digital method, according to BPS officials.

Assistant Principal Glenn Webb said closing a school depends on a number of factors.

“We made it through the latest surge of teachers and students on quarantine, so from a numbers perspective, our teachers and students handled a tough situation,” he said. “If it looks like COVID-19 is spreading on campus, the district will make that call.”

Cintron said she remains concerned about the spread of COVID-19 among her classmates.

“I kind of figured the school would shut down, especially with the Delta variant and increase in cases,” she said. “In my opinion though, I feel like the schools should have been more prepared for this or had some type of plan.”