Last week, Governor Charlie Baker announced that Massachusetts’s public schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year. With 46,000 cases of coronavirus and counting, Massachusetts is ranked third in cases per state. In the past week, governors of 40 states have ordered or recommended that schools do not reopen for the rest of the school year. On that list are some of our neighboring states, which include New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Eight states in the country have not officially closed or recommended that their schools close for the rest of the year.
Although schools are closed physically, it does not mean students have stopped learning. Governor Baker stressed that this does not mean an early summer vacation for students. Schools have begun to teach students through remote learning. With remote or distance learning, students and teachers do not connect in person. Instead they use Gmail, Google Classroom, Zoom, or other forms of online communication. Although many students are learning remotely, some students are still worried that they will fall behind. Three months can be a long time to miss school. If you include summer, there will be a six month period during which students will not go to school. Everyone is doing their best to cope with what life has thrown at us.
Unfortunately, many students are missing out on fun activities. Seniors will be missing out on senior week, prom, and possibly graduation. Instead of celebrating their final year, seniors are quarantined from school, friends, and their last memories of high school. But they aren’t the only ones losing something in the situation. Juniors are missing out on important SAT testing and junior prom. Sophomores will be skipping out on MCAS for this year, but they will have to make it up their junior year. Many students will be missing out on spring activities they have looked forward to all year, like track, sailing, and lacrosse. Although it might not be everyone’s ideal end of the year, it still can be a great one. So keep washing your hands and social distancing, and stay safe.