COVID-19 Shuts Down District Until April 3

CDC

Daja Dansby, editor

After a week off for Spring Break, MISD schools will remain closed to prevent the further spread of
the new strain of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, until at least April 3.

“I don’t like the extended break, but I respect the measures that the school is taking,” senior Jamie Rucker said. “The at the district’s decision to keep students at home has a positive impact on preventing the spread of COVID-19. The sooner it slows down, the quicker we can get back to school and get our lives back to normal.”

This extension came after Governor Greg Abbott declared a State of Disaster on March 13 and ordered all schools to close.

“I have been trying to keep myself busy by doing something productive such as cleaning, studying, catching up on homework, baking, or working out,” junior Nora Mehdi said. “It’s just difficult to live in quarantine when our society is so used to functioning in an interaction-based lifestyle where we’re always kept busy doing something in our community, with other people.”

Online distance learning will start for students on Monday March 23.

“I don’t like the idea of online schooling mainly because the majority of the population grew up in a physical-learning environment,” Mehdi said. “Since we’re so used to learning in a physical classroom, it’ll be a lot more difficult to focus and learn from our homes, mainly because we’re new to the concept and don’t know how to learn in an environment that we’ve always seen as a place of comfort.”

Teachers and students will work from home until further notice.

“The hardest part is the anxiety I feel with the uncertainty,” teacher Lindsay Daniel said. “My son’s daycare has also shut down, so I’m nervous about being a stay-at-home mom while trying to teach school online and be a student myself, while in grad school for my principal certification. It is stressful thinking about how I’m going to make it all work.”

Daniel’s classes, along with multiple others, will use Canvas for instruction.

“Professionally, I hope my students embrace learning online because we are putting a lot of effort into cultivating a really positive experience for them,” Daniel said. “Personally, I hope that this pandemic forces society’s hand to make some changes we’ve so desperately needed to make.”

The district is currently in contact with state officials to determine when schools can reopen.

“I hope that everything will be better by the time we get back,” Rucker said. “My fear is that, if things get worse, the school is going to shut down for the rest of the semester. I’m a senior and I’ve been looking forward to prom and graduation since I was in elementary school. I’m scared that it’s all going to be canceled.”

Considering the current situation, all standardized testing requirements, including EOC’s, have been waived.

“I hate it,” Mehdi said. “This time of the year was my chance to get everything together and it was supposed to be the peak of my high school life. But because of this pandemic, everything went downhill and won’t work out.”

As students are adapting to a new lifestyle, Mehdi said that she still holds out some hope.

“I was really looking forward to the opportunities and getting all the tests over with but now it’s all canceled or delayed and I’m just disappointed that my hopes were let down,” she said. “At least I’m not a senior and there’s next year to look forward to.”