Washoe County School District students are wrapping up the semester this week while secondary students are completing their finals virtually. The holiday break comes after several tenuous months when many students had to adjust to hybrid learning models and eventually return to full distance education due to the pandemic. Local high school senior Isabella Wolf reflects on how her semester went in an audio diary for KUNR’s Youth Media program.
It’s been pretty chaotic. I feel like with the hybrid program, it was kind of crazy because we were all going back to school and pretending everything was fine, and for a while, it was. Then all of a sudden, our state spiked in cases, and they couldn’t contact trace people, and it just really became [a question] like, “Are we going to go to school? Should we even be going to school?” Obviously, it’s better to go in person, but is it safe? So I guess that was the first half of the semester. Then the whole district switched everybody to distance learning.
Mentally, it’s so draining. More draining than actually going to school because when you’re at school, you can ask for help, and you can have support from your peers and all that. When you’re at home, everyone’s afraid to turn their camera on. I feel like I’m still doing well in school, as far as grades go, even with distance learning, but it’s so hard to motivate myself. How do I even get myself out of bed in the morning to go to a class where I’m going to take notes? Obviously, I’d rather be doing other things, but you know, it’s school.
It’s just been kind of a chaotic semester. I’ve had to watch my siblings all struggle with distance learning, and struggle with grades not going through, and struggle with the technology and everything. I just feel like as the system goes, obviously we can’t just miss school for a year, right? But is this really a better alternative? It’s just really difficult, and now we’re trying to figure out how to do finals while distance learning. I don’t know. I feel like as a system, it hasn’t proven itself very effective, and honestly, I’m ready for winter break. I’m ready to be done with this semester.
Isabella Wolf is a senior at the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology in Reno. KUNR’s Youth Media program is a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists.
KUNR's Jayden Perez adapted this story for web.