Covid-19’s Impact on High School Students’ Grades & Mentalities

Colorado high school students give feedback on the historical circumstances

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Hampton Traylor, Staff Writer

The entire country can relate when it comes to the circumstances the United States is under in terms of Covid-19. The virus has taken over our lives and still do as cases in our country, and Colorado specifically, began to reach record heights again. With this, comes the major impact that is being left on schools.

Based on a survey conducted of 182 students that concluded on October 28, 66.5% of school districts the students attend are currently in a hybrid learning, while 31.9% are fully remote, and just 1.6% being fully in person learning. Now, however, nearly all students are participating in fully remote learning.

Major districts, such as Denver Public Schools, Adams 12, Aurora Public Schools, and DSST are currently fully online and will remain so until further notice. Other big Colorado school districts, including Boulder Valley, Jeffco, Cherry Creek, Poudre and Douglas County stayed in hybrid learning for an additional two weeks but have also returned to remote. District II, and many private schools, including Holy Family have maintained in person learning since the start of the year in August.

Allie Ward is a freshman at Holy Family High School in Broomfield Colorado, one of few Colorado schools sticking to 100% in person learning.

“The academic aspect of it is the same, but the social parts are different. There’s no socializing before or after school or at football games,” Ward said.

“It’s hard because we would normally look forward to those things, but now my school is just used to it.”

Holy Family has been open for in person since August following a pretty normal schedule with a few new protocols including requiring masks, more sanitation and hygiene and social distancing in the classroom and hallways. Students have seating charts, which make contact tracing much easier when a student or teacher tests positive.

Tyler Parrish, a junior at Green Valley Ranch High School, a part of the DSST district in Denver, Colorado is one of the few students who says he thrives in online classes as opposed to regular in-person instruction.

“In my opinion, online school has actually been so much better for me. I used to struggle with in person learning so online school is honestly way better,” said Parrish.

“My grades have boosted to A’s and B’s from online school, [whereas] before I used to get lower grades,” he said. Only 19.8% (roughly 36/182) prefer remote learning, while a majority dislike it.

Many students of Boulder Valley School District, however, said that online school has affected them negatively. Anonymous comments ranged from, “It has affected my mental health exponentially,” “I feel more stressed out,” “I am easily distracted and it is way harder to learn,” to “I am less social, and I feel like less of a person.”

The topic of mental health during quarantine is no surprise, especially for teenagers. According to drugabuse.gov, substance abuse was reportedly at a 55% increase in the past 8 months, with people using drugs and alcohol in order to cope with mental health symptoms.

With all this being said, now is a difficult and stressful time for everybody, especially students. If you are feeling depressed, anxious, or need somebody to talk to, know you are not alone.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Colorado Crisis Line or the National Suicide Hotline, available 24/7, toll free.
Colorado Crisis Line: 844-493-8255 or text TALK to 38255
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255