Teachers accommodate quarantined students

Kris Long, Sports Editor

With an increasing number of quarantines due to five days in-person school this semester, teachers and students are learning to adapt to long-term absences.

Most teachers use Canvas to post assignments, so making up work when absent is more accessible to students than in previous years. However, the new volume of long absences (the CDC recommends 10-day quarantines) adds stress to teachers.

“What I have done is I’ve put assignments on Canvas. So while they’re quarantined they just do those,” ceramics teacher Sarah Rempel said. “Usually it’s short but it’s enough information for them to know what they’re doing, what they’re researching so that they’re not just going in cold from [quarantine].”

Accommodation is easier in classes where the work can be done at home, like Math, English and Social Studies. But hands on classes such as Welding, CAD and arts can be more difficult. 

“The problem we run into is that we’re using the software in the class,” CAD teacher Randy Pushee said. “So, for the Intro to Tech class if they’re in quarantine they can’t work. For my other classes like…  advanced CAD in the advanced computer-aided drafting classes, it’s an independent study… some of them have the software at home so they can keep working, others know that the due date timeline is flexible so if they have to quarantine for 10 to 12 days, they can get caught up when they come back in.”

Another issue for students is that while extension of deadlines is necessary, over a week of work they are unable to complete can mount up. 

“So far the… [students] that have been in and out of quarantine have managed to catch back up again, as long as they go back and do those other assignments,” Pushee said. “I am allowed to excuse some of [the assignments]. Some of them were really missing a lot of it, so we went ahead and excused a couple, especially the [students] that were quarantined due to close contact and then quarantined because they caught it. We said ‘okay, this is an elective, and it’s not a core class so I’m okay with giving them an exemption from that lesson,’ just so their grade doesn’t suffer.”

Communication appears to be key to making sure students can keep up while at home, but that can be difficult for teachers with many students quarantined.

“[Teachers] communicated with me pretty well… I feel like Spanish was probably the most difficult, just because it’s hard to practice Spanish when you’re just at home,” said junior Monroe Say, who has been quarantined three times. “I ended up staying caught up on everything, but it definitely was difficult.”

Despite school being back in five days and activities continuing to run, quarantines serve as a reminder that school is not back to normal. Teachers and students are continuing to be forced to evolve to ever changing circumstances.

“[My advice is] to continue to be lenient with students to have to go and be quarantined,” Say said, “Because it’s definitely difficult to go online and not have that communication.”