A year like no other

Amaya Rothrock, Editor in Chief

As everyone knows, this school year is unlike any other for Bellefonte High due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a year that will go down in Bellefonte’s history. 

Students and teachers have adapted to the new way of daily routines by wearing masks and social distancing at all times. Everyone has also been introduced to different forms of attending school, including hybrid learning, remote learning, online school, and Flexible Instruction Days (FID) in contrast to the traditional snow day. This has turned into the new normal for Bellefonte High, but we have not let any of the differences stand in our way of making the best of the year. 

One of the biggest changes this year is the various forms of attending school. A considerable amount of students began switching from physically going to school to hybrid or fully remote learning throughout the year. 

Students have made the best of this situation by creating small study groups with their friends and completing their assignments together. This way they still get the necessary social interaction that they would normally receive in the building.
However, students are not the only ones who have had to take on many challenges this year regarding the many ways of attending school; the teachers of Bellefonte High have had to learn how to teach students who are physically and virtually present in the classroom, along with keeping up with the students who are doing hybrid learning. 

Government teacher Mrs. Allyson Durney provided some insight as to how the teachers are coping with the many changes this year. They, along with the students, are new to everything currently happening and are taking things day-by-day. 

“By far, the biggest challenge for me has been having students on several different platforms at the same time, and attempting to provide the same experience for those students.  Hybrid [and] in-person [and] full remote does not equal easy. Just when I think I have things handled, something changes with one or several students and I’m back to square one,” Mrs. Durney said. 

Teachers have had to quickly learn how to plan last minute as students switch from different methods of learning. They have also had to plan around snow days and potential temporary closings due to COVID-19 cases. 

“These models [of learning] also don’t lend themselves to much advanced planning, since things can change so much from day to day.  Teachers like to plan in advance (most of the time), so having to adjust to doing things day by day is tough as well,” Mrs. Durney said

However, Mrs. Durney, along with her colleagues, have worked together to ensure all students are receiving the best education possible. 

“I’ve also realized, even more than I did before, that students are awesome. They are rising to the occasion and adjusting to this new version of normal as well.  And not that I ever doubted it, but my colleagues are simply amazing.  They have responded to every request and embraced the new challenges head on,”  she said.

Aside from the different learning techniques, the year has been unique regarding the traditional school events and activities. There are fewer school events this year because of the limits to large gatherings, however, the students have found ways to overcome this obstacle and manage to keep up the school spirit that BAHS is known for. Due to the limited number of attendees at sporting events, students of Raider Nation decided to host “watch partie” where they gathered with close friends to watch live streams of sporting events, all while following the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and others. 

“Raider Nation was not ideal this year, but we made the most of it by having small watch parties to cheer on our team even if we couldn’t be there,” Raider Nation Co-leader senior Kira Watson said. “My favorite part about it was still being able to watch the game and have a good time with friends, and cheer on our team as if we were still in the stands.” 

There is still much uncertainty about the second half of the year and the usual spring activities are up in the air, as there are constant changes regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Although this year is different and difficult at times, it has been a learning experience for everyone and brought the community at Bellefonte High together. Students and teachers have all worked together day-by-day to learn how to face the many challenges. It is important to remain optimistic for the future of the year and continue to make the best of the situation. 

The Red and White staff would like to thank the administration, teachers, staff, and students for all working together this year and making the best of the situations. We appreciate all that has been done.