Social distancing is something that we have all become accustomed to; COVID-19 has caused us to change the way we live, and it has forced us to let go of things that we once took for granted. One of the biggest changes was no longer going to school in person— and this past school year has been quite the journey because of it.
Rowland Unified School District closed its schools after March 13, 2020. Students and staff were informed that we were going to be given an extra week of spring break, but little did we know, the very exciting two-week vacation would turn into a year-long stay at home.
The following school year, Nogales students began full-time distance learning education through Zoom in August 2020. There was a change in our schedules to accommodate the challenging task of learning at home. On Mondays and Thursdays, we had our odd periods in the morning for 80 minutes each, and then our even periods after lunch for thirty minutes each. The schedule is then reversed on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays are ASYNC workdays in which students do independent work and finish up any homework assignments that are due.
This new reality of having to do school at home has created quite a bit of difficulty for many students— in terms of staying on top of all of our work and maintaining an efficient work ethic. Nogales Junior, Hillary Perez shared, “This past school year has been okay, nothing too bad and nothing too good. I do enjoy the extra time we have and the flexibility that it gives us to do our work, but it has caused me to procrastinate a lot more, which is something that has been quite a difficult habit to break.”
Not only has this school year been difficult for us students, but it has also been difficult for our school’s staff. Ricardo Ramirez, a college mentor from Family Resource Center, explained, “So much of the work I do in mentoring students relies on in-person interaction in order to build rapport and establish trust. The virtual experience really created a disconnect that made it almost impossible to get to know students on a more personalized level.”
Although this year has been filled with many hardships, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. It is expected that we will return to our normal in-person schedule by the beginning of the next school year. We only have a few more weeks until summer vacation, so keep working hard and we will make it out of this.