Students reflect on learning in quarantine


A chromebook and a stack of notebooks sits patiently before a student gets to work.

The Novel Coronavirus has forced public schools to push classes into a virtual space, dramatically changing the education landscape for the 2020-2021 school year. On July 20, 2020, the Chesterfield County School Board officially approved for the 2020-2021 school year to be conducted online until it is safe for students and staff to return.

According to, the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a respiratory illness spread through droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The disruptive impacts of this virus have affected all aspects of society and life including education.  

Since the cancellation of school in March 2020, 55 million students across the country were out of school for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This circumstance resulted in data supporting that during this current school year, students are likely to return with only approximately 63-68% of the learning gains in reading relative to a typical school year and with 37-50% of the learning gains in math, according to a study done by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. 

As a result of the virus, Chesterfield County Public Schools’ new virtual learning environment consists of lessons and modules on Canvas, an online learning platform, and Google Meets with the teacher instructing students for around thirty minutes synchronously with asynchronous assignments for the students to complete afterwards. This unique form of learning has either added to the list of capabilities and/or incapabilities of students during the national spread of this virus. Students around the county have spent the majority of Sept. and Oct. learning to adjust to their new learning environment.

Freshman Ivy Christian notices a stark difference in comprehension without a teacher teaching physically in front of the students.

“One of the major differences between being a regular student and a student in quarantine is that it’s much harder to be able to focus on online school rather than in-person school when the teacher was ahead of you and there were no distractions,” Christian said.

Even though online school allows for less teacher and classmate contact for extroverted students, introverted students and home-lovers get to “live their dream” and escape social pressures, “one of the five major high school stresses,” according to, by adjusting to safety measures. 

Senior Cara Beals has found that more time at home has given her time to decompress.

“I really like not going to school in person because it stresses me out, and it’s nice that I get to be in the comfort of my own home,” Beals said.

Students are having to not only adjust to their virtual class environment, but additionally to the changes caused by the virus to their extracurriculars and sports. For soccer players, such as sophomore Dominick Campo, the necessary equipment and conditions to conduct sports are inaccessible due to the coronavirus’ restrictions.

“I enjoy playing sports very much, so not having that gym time in school really [is disappointing] , but hopefully by the time soccer season starts, less cases will be occurring,” Campo said.

Along with school sports and clubs, other activities and memorable events in students’ lives have either become inaccessible, cancelled or postponed due to the closing of businesses and popular attractions, such as beaches and amusement parks. 

For this reason, Campo has struggled to enjoy himself in his traditionally busy free time. 

“Personally it was a lot more difficult to hang out with my friends through the summer and now on the weekends,” Campo said. “We wanted to go to places like Drive Shack where you golf into this driving range, [and] my family and I usually go to Myrtle Beach during the summer, but we were unable to do it this year because of quarantine.”

While the coronavirus’ restrictions and online school have been problematic for students, some are taking advantage of the less time and transportation required to perform a day’s activities through the virus requiring a more stabilized setting. Junior Mustafa Elteir finds time management easier now than in years past.

“Virtual school actually helps me more with my schedule,” Elteir said. “Since I am already home, I can finish my homework for school before I go to soccer practice at night, which helps me not have to rush with homework when I get [back].”

Overall, virtual school has both positive and negative impacts in the lives of the Cavaliers at the Hill. For the nation as a whole, students in all grade levels and even college students continue to transition into an unprecedented school year of learning and memories, which may leave the eyes a little strained from increased screen-time, but the mind with stories to tell to future generations.Students reflect on learning in quarantine