Social Distancing and Its Impact on AHS-Spring 2020

Olivia Fields, Staff Writer

With the recent spread of the COVID-19 virus, also known as the Coronavirus, schools around the nation have implemented social distancing time. This is a period in which classes will continue online and students do not attend school. Athletics have also been discontinued for the rest of the school year, and standardized testing is also canceled. 

AHS began it’s social distancing time during the second week of March. Originally it was planned for students to return to school on March 23rd. Then it was announced, by order of Governor Brian Kemp, that we would begin classes on April 13th. That date was then changed to the 27th of April, with teachers and other staff clocking in on the 24th to plan and prepare.

Meanwhile, students are quite enjoying this extended period of digital learning, even finding this time beneficial. The choice of working on your own time, and not having to worry whether they can finish their classwork in 50 minutes is very gratifying to most. A freshman, Kylie Horovitz, stated, “I prefer the convenience of working from home and also I don’t have to race against the clock. There can also be multiple assignments, for that class that day, and sometimes it can stress me out just looking at it.” Also with more time to spare, students have the ability to access tutoring during the week, not being concerned with whether it interferes with athletic practices and homework. Another freshman, Fiza Nadeem, stated, “I think that they get smarter, almost. They get more time to socialize. The shift to digital learning can approximate the benefits of tutoring while freeing up time for teachers to address individual and small group needs.” 

Others are not taking this time off too well, preferring the physical act of going to class, socializing with other students, and being able to work hands-on with teachers. Although recently, some teachers have been experimenting with Google Hangouts™ as a virtual alternative to emailing back and forth. Paige Hyde, a freshman, commented on the situation, saying, “I miss being able to physically do work. I’m not a fan of digital workdays. I do not find it convenient at all due to some may not be able to find the time during the day, especially if they work, and the internet can be a problem for some as well and it’s difficult to focus.” A solution to the problem of internet access. Cable Companies in the surrounding area have generously offered 60 to 80 days of free internet. When it comes to deadlines and schedules, students can always discuss this with their teachers and work out ways in which they can get assignments completed and turned in. 

Athletes are another group of students that are disgruntled. Their seasons have been terminated during this social distancing time. It is also unlikely that sports will continue even after it ends. The spring raffle, whose profits were meant to go to Armuchee High School’s athletic programs, has also been canceled. Hayden Fields, a sophomore track and field runner, said, “I’m definitely disappointed the season ended so soon. I was getting my mile time down to 5 minutes. My best time was 5:53 and it took a lot of work to get it down that far.” 

It is still unclear whether April 27th will remain our returning date, but AHS hopes everyone stays safe and quarantined for the time being. Hopefully, students will be able to return soon and resume a normal schedule and year. Stay safe!