Students experience decreased COVID guidelines

 As the 2021-22 school year began, it was easy to see the smiling faces of the students happy to be without a mask, just one of several COVID-19-related changes this year.

“I think everybody was happy not to have a mask on,” said principal Brandy Thompson. 

Coming back to school with local COVID-19 cases winding down, masks weren’t the only difference. 

From having two lunches instead of three to no longer holding class via Zoom and the increased flexibility due to less social distancing, “I feel like here, we’ve kind of gone back to school,” said Thompson.

The students at Yutan are noticing the positives of these changes, such as improved social interaction. Students were eager to see the major factors when returning back.

“I mean, when we initially came back to school last year [there were] masks, but this year, probably a social aspect,” said Freshman AJ Arensberg. “People hadn’t seen each other in a while. Everyone had changed.” 

Students were also ready to not have to sit behind a screen to learn. “You cannot get the topics across that they’re trying to teach you. In person (learning) is much better,” said Arensberg.

While the school year seems normal right now, if COVID status changes, so will the school’s guidelines. Thompson said she and the other administrators are still following local health guidelines.

“If COVID is to happen again, which we don’t want to think about, we would be following the directives of the health departments, the governor, the Department of Education, similarly to what we did before because without their guidance, we don’t know data stats, those kinds of things, so we rely on them to help make those decisions,” said Thompson. 

  Now that school is in full swing and COVID under control for right now, Thompson still agrees that there’s a lot to grow on because of the big changes. 

“We’re gonna have good days, we’re gonna have bad days, we’re gonna have ugly days,” said Thompson. “Whether we’re in COVID or not.”