Quarantine Proves Challenging for Students and their Academics

Quarantine is essential for safety but missing school means missing lessons. Guzman-Rangel covers the the effects of quarantine and how it leads to academic loss.

Yulisa Guzman-Rangel, Staff writer

The start of this new school year fills the campus with new and familiar faces but with this influx of students and longer school days, quarantining seems to come at a higher expense. More and more students are struggling to adjust during and after being quarantined.

While the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires the schools of the Chico Unified School District to mask while indoors, students are not required to wear any facial coverings outside, which can make contact tracing difficult.

Deanna Holen, assistant principal at PVHS, suggested, “Masking is probably helpful, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. I do see students wearing masks outdoors. Not everyone, but we are asking students who contract symptoms whether they’ve been exposed or not to stay home until they’re symptom-free.”

Depending on the vaccination status of a student, the type of quarantine they receive may differ. The students here at PVHS who are vaccinated and then are exposed to COVID-19 and are experiencing no symptoms do not have to be quarantined at all. However, both unvaccinated and vaccinated students that were exposed and were masked fall under the category of modified quarantine. This means they do not have to quarantine at home; they simply have to undergo daily wellness checks in the mornings in the administration building for 10 days from the last date of exposure. students also have to get tested twice during that period.

For unvaccinated and symptomatic students, home quarantine lasting at least 10 days is required. Students may return on days 11-14 while wearing masks at all times. Although, the option to home quarantine is always open to everyone.

Differing factors contribute to a student’s exposure to this virus but whether they get exposed on campus or off, the end is the same. Quarantining leaves a student missing crucial and hard to recover in-class time.

Taking a closer look from a teacher’s perspective, Raymond Barber, Chemistry and AP Biology teacher, commented, “Chemistry is one of those subjects where all the content builds one concept onto the next. And of course, we have to go at a pretty good pace to make sure we get through all the concepts and all the curriculum in a given year. So we do a lot in a day. There’s a lot of money in a day and so you have some kids that are gone for a day, and it’s not even just with quarantine it’s with things like sports…all those things happen. Those are all part of a school or part of family life. It’s just hard on the student when they miss part of the story, and they have to come back and try to piece what they’ve missed back together.”

Junior Payton Hartman added, “It’s definitely challenging to come back after missing school for so long. You end up having to focus on two different aspects of one class, which is difficult to balance. I’ve noticed that when you’re in quarantine it’s less about actually learning and more about trying to stay on track with all the work coming in. I was quarantined about one or two weeks ago and I’m still struggling to complete the work from different units and makeup tests that contain the material I still don’t understand.”

Although returning to school gives off a sense of normalcy, it is important to remember that COVID-19 still plays a persistent part in school life. Properly wear your mask when required, stay home if you are feeling unwell, and stay safe.