Journal Address

SHS did the best they could, but there is still room to improve


Stepping into the beginning of the school year on Aug. 5, no one knew what to expect. Desks were separated, numbers were taped to the surface of lunch tables, and faces that were once familiar were covered with masks.

With these obstacles thrown left and right at the whole SHS community, administrators and teachers were given an even bigger challenge with planning the layout of the school year.
Reflecting on this school year, we, The Journal, feel as though SHS did their best to keep us safe and continue our education, though there is one suggestion moving forward.

One of the many ever-changing aspects of this school year was the plethora of schedules that SHS staff and students saw. On the outside looking in, all of these changes seemed to be chaotic and confusing, not allowing for a consistent learning schedule amidst an already difficult year.

During the first semester, SHS went from a four period block schedule, which ensured there were enough lunch periods to avoid overcrowding, to the fully virtual schedule, which occurred when Marion County announced all schools would have to go virtual in November. Though this seems like too much to handle, it is obvious that the administration was doing the best they could with the knowledge that they had. And we were still learning, which was the most important part.

The implementation of Canvas played a vital role in being able to keep up with these different schedules. At first, students and teachers weren’t familiar with Canvas and didn’t think too highly of it because of previous applications like Google Classroom and paper assignments. But as the year progressed, Canvas grew on everyone. It’s convenient to turn in most assignments online so they aren’t lost, and everything is organized well thanks to teachers and their tireless efforts to understand this program.

Looking towards next year, administration is ensuring that in-person learning is the only option for students through SHS, though there will be learning opportunities through Plato classes or Cardinal Academy. The Journal stands with this decision because more people are getting vaccinated, cases are decreasing, and getting students to give 100% from home is sometimes impossible.
With all of the positives, accountability is something we feel SHS can improve on. Safety measures are only taken into account when they’re enforced. Some students don’t sit at their assigned lunch table, some teachers and students wear their masks under their nose or don’t wear them at all, and social distancing isn’t as strict as it should be.

Ultimately, it’s a community effort, but more teachers and administration should be more adamant about encouraging these guidelines to keep us safe.

Thinking back, it was hard to imagine anyone would make it to the end of the year. Though the year was tough, the SHS community stayed strong. The Journal feels that SHS is in a great position to move forward with even more resilience, unity and the hindsight this year has brought.