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Commentaries and Opinions

Commentary: Local High School Student Shares Fears About Returning To Class After Thanksgiving Break

On Tuesday night, the Washoe County School Board is considering moving all students to full distance learning starting Dec. 7, which is about a week after Thanksgiving. In this commentary, KUNR Youth Media reporter Hudson Heimerman says that with cases increasing in Washoe County, he's nervous going to school in person these days.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m delighted to meet with family after such a strenuous year, but we’re keeping our gathering small this time around to my family plus two others who we’ve “quaranteamed” with.

I’m hopeful that other families will have small gatherings as well this year, but with so many positive tests in Washoe County alone, I’m not sure if we’ll see a spike or the same infection rate post-Thanksgiving.

I’m supposed to go back to school the week after, which I’m super anxious about, for the reason that I don’t want to be around kids who’ve been surrounded by possible vectors. I understand that Superintendent Kristen McNeill is recommending that Washoe County schools go completely virtual starting Dec. 7, but that still leaves the week of Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 for students to go back. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t make the move to virtual learning directly after Thanksgiving break to reduce possible cases, but that’s up to the district to decide.

Reflecting on this year, I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to go back to school and for the district to put effort toward keeping our schools open, but inevitably it was going to be shut down anyway.

I have nothing but gratitude for my parents and teachers who’ve supported me through this chaotic year, and I still can’t imagine what the spring semester will look like for high schoolers and other students alike. I’m staying hopeful that Washoe County cases will go down after December, but with Christmas and New Year's attracting travelers, only time will tell until school will return to in-person learning.

I can’t wait to carve into a turkey this year and watch some football this Thursday.

KUNR’s Youth Media program is a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists.

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