March 13, 2020 was anything but an ordinary day. On that day, it was suddenly announced that we would be out of school a week before Spring Break. From the students’ perspective, it seemed like an amazing opportunity to relax just a little bit longer. Parents saw it as a simple precaution to the rise of cases due to the mysterious COVID-19 virus. But no one could have predicted what was to come.
“I must have been one of those naive saps who thought we’d be back after Spring Break,” English teacher Cari Swoboda said. “Maybe somewhere in my subconscious I knew we’d be in this for the long run, but I just didn’t want to believe it.”
Cases started to skyrocket, resulting in a nationwide quarantine. It shut down schools across the nation, and SHS was no exception. Before Spring Break ended, parents from all over the Sandy area received word that their children would not be returning to in-person school for the remainder of the year.
Students may have been enjoying their sudden extended Spring Break, but the freedom wasn’t going to last, as school did eventually return. But this was not the same school that students had left. Instead, it was all done digitally, using Google Meet to virtually attend classes students were taking prior to the lockdown. This was a completely new environment for both students and staff, and everyone had to quickly adapt to it before the school year ended.
“Sports have been impacted greatly during this time,” coach Josh Dill said. “With the loss of last year’s Spring season and the end of the basketball season, it has had a big impact.”
And then, just as soon as it had started, it ended. The 2019-2020 school year was over, and summer vacation had begun. However, this summer vacation wouldn’t be quite as fun as previous vacations. The quarantine was still in effect, leaving people to enjoy their vacation close to home, just like they had done since the middle of March.
As quickly as summer vacation had started, it came to a close as the new school year began. This time, things would be done a little differently. Instead of having seven periods in one day, there were now only four periods per semester. This did a lot to relieve the stress of the school year, and helped everyone get more accustomed to the new format.
It’s been almost a full year since the last day of normal school. For most students, it’s been almost a year since they have seen many classmates in person, or walked the many halls of the school. What started out as a three or four week long break, has now become a year long quarantine.
However, that might not last much longer. The staff at SHS has been working to bring students back to the school, albeit not quite the same way as it was before. On March 29, students are supposed to be returning to in-person school on alternating days. While this hybrid learning environment isn’t quite the same format as how students left it, it is still a huge step towards returning back to the way things were almost exactly one year prior.