Students rejoice and grieve over the Board of Education’s decision to return to Enhanced Distance Learning.
BY CARLY WITT, ‘23.

Since starting the hybrid schedule in September, there have been ups and downs and underlying thoughts and feelings about what is best for the safety of UAHS students and staff. Some students advocated for returning to Enhanced Distance Learning while others were completely confident in the hybrid classes and how the school is dealing with cases rising in the state, district, county and country.

With parents and students getting email updates about cases inside of the school, some uneasiness followed the growing receipts of these notices. Some students were not confident about how the school is dealing with the virus itself. 

“[The school] is doing a decent job,” sophomore Katie Harris said. “There’s a lot more they could be doing, but they are doing more than others.” 

Despite this, Harris thinks that the school needs to enforce the six feet rule better in classrooms and hallways. 

With cases on the rise and the future murky, some students questioned even coming to school when hybrid is in effect, especially students whose families are at a higher risk of contracting the virus. 

“My father has health issues, including cancer, and if I or my brother were to get the virus, we would be okay but he would have to be hospitalized, and if Ohio had gone purple sooner I would have left school,” sophomore Paige Parker said.

For some students, other personal reasons can come into play on whether they are wanting to attend school. It can feel as though schools are moving forward in their ability to learn online, but backward in the ways we are treating the hybrid system. 

Sophomore Claire Mahan said, “Being a germaphobe, that can also be especially hard to deal with at school when cases are rising.” 

The CDC website has a tab open for school, and what measures they should be taking. From masks and social distancing to ventilation checks, food service and even how to help students cope with it, it covers every area. It talks about how schools should be in contact with their local governments, making sure they are up to date on the severity of their counties and districts. 

On Nov. 19, Franklin County officially went purple, meaning it is in a level four public health emergency. It is currently the only purple county in the state of Ohio. In previous emails, the school district agreed that if the district went purple, that we would go back to enhanced distance learning. 

And on Nov. 23, the UA Board of Education voted to send students back into Enhanced Distance Learning at least through Dec. 23 due to the rising number of cases and the purple advisory. 

“It most definitely was a smart move to go into enhanced distance learning through December, especially because the holidays are coming up and many families are meeting with grandparents who are more susceptible to the virus,” Parker said.