By: Ethan Bar-Nadav, Editorial Staff ‘23
Since March, when the first exposures of the coronavirus plagued the tri-state area, the Indian Hills community has been affected in numerous ways. The students, staff, and faculty, have had to make major adjustments to their lifestyles. The virus, as a whole, has created a negative impact physically, by forcing us into our homes and restricting everyone’s activity. When presented with the question of “How has the virus affected you inside and outside of the school environment, and what do you project for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year?”, it is very apparent that the virus has had a massive impact, even 8 months after the school was initially closed down.
The virus has taken its toll on both students and staff, and this is evident after talking with the Indian Hills community. Joseph “Trey” Esak, the sophomore class president, said, “The adjustment to wearing masks and having personal protective equipment has been very strange, but I was willing to adapt and see how things would pan out with the hybrid schedule.” Along with this, sports have also been very different this year, to accommodate for the virus. Trey also mentioned how “running cross-country has been different. The races have been especially different because there are four separate races to reduce the number of people on a course at a given time.” With all the sports that Indian Hills has offered, many adjustments have had to be made, although luckily it has not come to the point of canceling sports programs altogether.
When it comes to the classroom environment and teachers handling the virus, to no surprise the shift in both teaching and organization methods have been more difficult to handle. Now that students are on a hybrid schedule, or completely virtual, teaching tactics have had to adapt. Ms. Brooks, an English teacher, described how her approach to her students, “is usually centered on group collaboration (discussions, projects, competitions, etc.), so the virus has really limited this engagement and taken away some of the fun activities my students have liked in the past.” A lot of teachers have to go through similar struggles with handling their curriculum, and a lot of teachers have to change their plans quickly.
Even outside of the school, the virus has that persisting physical struggle. “My room is a complete mess due to not going out as much,” said Caroline Kucik, a sophomore at Indian Hills. This is probably relatable for most students.
There is always that constant worry about what is going on in the world and how it will continue to affect you and your family. Ms. Brooks also said she “had to cancel some major plans. I got married this past April with only four guests in person and everyone else needed to watch a live-streamed video.” With something like a wedding or any large event, having to make the switch to virtual for many of the guests is not the best situation to be in whatsoever.
Despite this sudden change, the adaptation that has been endured by the Indian Hills staff has been a tremendous help. Many, if not all, students have been extremely grateful for all the work and effort put in by the staff to make this year as smooth and stress-free as possible. Even with the struggles: needing to learn all the online tools, handling any technical difficulties, and having to manage classes differently than any year before, as well as the preexisting responsibilities students have, the teachers and staff of Indian Hills community have been a tremendous driving force in helping the school year to feel as normal as possible.