Even at the start of the school year, students at CHS knew this year would be different than most. Between the already taxing academic workload and new restrictions due to COVID-19, some students and staff have been experiencing burnout early in the year.
“We’ve had to adapt to a completely different world,” senior Cortney Piepenburg said. “With masks, social distancing and quarantine, I find it harder to be social with others and my stress level tends to be quite high these days.
“I try my best to keep my calm and take everything one day at a time. However, I’d be lying if I said juggling school and work during a pandemic wasn’t hard.”
Universal masking and social distancing mitigation measures have been in place since the beginning of the school year and are likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future.
Some students such as junior Sadie Bartels are slowly starting to adjust to the restrictions.
Bartels said, “Handling and balancing things like school, work and everyday life was challenging in the beginning since we were getting used to the restrictions in place, but I think that it has become easier.
“Some restrictions that are harder to handle are the ones that are a drastic change from our old normal like distancing restrictions. Regarding sports, there are many safety measures being taken, but it is beginning to become normal.”
Students such as sophomore Devon Schneider have found adapting to the new school year easier than others. “Life is not that different other than just social distancing and wearing a mask,” Schneider said.
As for teachers, many have had to work late into the night or over the weekends to keep up with their responsibilities.
“There’s definitely a lot more planning involved,” said Mrs. Kelly Moehn, a business and computer science teacher. “Many times, I’ve had to come in on Saturdays and work another eight hours.”
To help teachers and students, for the remainder of the first semester starting December 2, the district began having students not attend school in–person or virtually on Wednesdays.
This means that for the month of December and the first two weeks of January, there is a break for students in the middle of the week. Teachers continue to report to school on Wednesdays.
On January 18, the school board will discuss how this plan is going and whether it will continue into second semester. Even with no more Wednesdays first semester, students will not have to make up those instructional minutes. Due to the pandemic, schools are being granted waivers by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. This means schools have a process by which they can be excused from the required number of minutes they normally have to put in each school year.