Switch to online school

Administration shuts down campus in order to combat coronavirus.


Evelyn Driscoll

Try these tips to maintain health during quarantine.

SMCHS announced a schoolwide switch to online One-to-One learning on March 13 in response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) designation of the coronavirus as pandemic two days prior. Remote learning is planned to last from March 18 to April 20.

“The school is being very proactive,” said school nurse Lisa Volpo. “We’re following all federal and state local guidelines.”

Students are now using Microsoft Teams to virtually facetime into classes, while still resuming a modified block schedule. Administration recommends setting up a designated space for learning, clear of all distractions. However, the change to online learning proves difficult for a lot of students who are used to the daily routine of school.

“It’s definitely been harder to motivate myself,” said Junior Mary Kate Tracy. “I’m in my home, which is a setting where I don’t always feel like need to tune in and pay attention [like] in class.”

Tracy misses the social aspect of regular schooling the most. The federal government also recommends social distancing by discouraging gatherings of over ten people. Social distancing includes remaining at home, refraining from crowds, and maintaining good hygiene and a safe distance between you and those around you.

Although Tracy, along with other students find social distancing difficult, she finds ways to stay connected.

“Not having that has been difficult, but I still have my family, and I’m able to facetime my friends during homework,” Tracy said. “It’s just [not] seeing those people that you maybe wouldn’t just call up.”

Tracy has also worked on developing a routine for herself. She fills the time she would normally spend at swim practice running around her neighborhood and playing board games with her family.

“One positive I would say is it’s broadened my perspective on life,” Tracy said. “I feel like my whole life is centered around school stress, doing well, planning for college, like all these things. Its just taking a step back, being forced to go home and dealing with something the whole world is [facing]. It puts into perspective the magnitude of all the people in the world and how unified the world is in that way.”

Along with maintaining positive mental health during quarantine, Volpo stresses the importance of taking necessary health precautions. She recommends avoiding people who are sick and thoroughly washing hands. Volpo predicts the flu season will last until May and encourages the importance of immunizations.

“It’s not too late,” Volpo said. “You can still get a flu shot, and it can still help you so you don’t lower your resistance. Anytime we have low resistance, we’re more susceptible to viruses.”

Students Robin Gan, Alex Lynd, and Luke Soliman collaborated to create Coronaware, a frequently updated website that shows cases and trends of the coronavirus in Orange County. Either click the hyperlink or go to http://coronaware.net/ to stay updated and track COVID-19 in our county.