LFHS Is Determined to Stay In-Person

After a long year of remote learning and the rise of Omicron, LFHS is committed to “All-In Everyday”

LFHS Is Determined to Stay In-Person

Sophie Lawson , Staff writer

LFHS continues with in-person learning, prioritizing the health and safety of the school community, as they input masks mandates and closely observe breakouts of the contagious virus. 

The spreading and new discovery of Omicron has caused the majority of educational institutions to intensify COVID mandates and the consequences for not following them. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, getting vaccinated, and being tested when you feel unwell, goes a long way in stopping the spread of COVID and potentially saving someone’s life.

Two CDC case studies, one from JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) showed adherence to mask mandates reduced the transmission of SARS‑CoV‑2 (the respiratory illness responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic) with a Boston hospital system. Another from CDC’s MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) demonstrated that wearing a mask prevented the spread of the virus from two hairstylists to their customers in Missouri. 

“The virus is not going to go away, so I am grateful for the measures which allow me to live without as much worry,” said Social Science teacher Laura Flangel.

Masks, rapid and PCR tests, and COVID vaccinations have been distributed to increase immunity. With these in our possession, the feelings of safety and security towards in-person learning have increased. As of Jan. 18, 209 million people or 64% of the United States have been fully vaccinated.

I feel safe being in-person at LFHS because I am vaccinated and none of my family members are considered at risk,” said senior Madison Miks.

LFHS offers voluntary PCR tests in the main office with results ready in one-two days. Continuation of in-person learning depends on the entire school community; cooperation is needed to ensure a safe learning environment.

On the other hand, learning entirely through a small laptop screen caused students and staff constant frustrations that would disrupt their entire online learning experience.

Student engagement reached an all-time low in remote learning; students’ desire to willingly participate on an online application was slim to none.

“It was hard to create engaging lessons when students couldn’t interact with each other as easily,” said Andrew Waple. “Less interaction takes some joy out of teaching since forming connections with students is part of what makes the job so enjoyable.”

COVID’s call for isolation also sparked an increase in mental health issues.

“It took a toll on my mental health as it did many others, and I disliked being on a screen all day,” said senior Gaby Brown.

To learn more, listen to the podcast, All Things Considered, episode on ‘How the current COVID surge is hurting learning and kids’ mental health’, hosted by Alisa Chang, who is joined by NPR health correspondent Rhitu Chatterjee and NPR education correspondent Anya Kamenetz.

Thoughts of depression, fear, and hopelessness are difficult to navigate. School social workers’ or counselors’ contact information can be found on the LFHS website.  Contact them by email or stop by for a friendly chat.

With the return back into the building, these online-initiated issues have subsided. Students have been able to socialize and retain a school community support system.

A lot of states and schools have taken their own approach towards managing this outbreak. These COVID mandates carry one goal, to ensure life longevity and safety. Following these COVID guidelines and working together, the LFHS school community will continue to be in-person learning.

“I imagine we all have concerns; this omicron variant is incredibly contagious,” said Ms. Flangel. “ I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want my family to get sick. I don’t want my students to get sick. But with the vaccination and health mitigations in place, I think, if we all work together as a community, we can stay safe.”