Falling ill and falling behind


Emily Myers

Students at Neshaminy High School who have been out for multiple days quarantining due to the COVID-19 outbreak are expected by administration to completely catch up on all work and tests that were missed during their absence, including preparation for midterms. Students across Neshaminy have expressed the stress that these expectations have created.

According to the Neshaminy COVID-19 database, there has been an average of 12% of students absent from school each week over the past three weeks. While that number may not appear to be high, this equates to about 300 students a week out of school.

The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) current recommended quarantine period is five days, which often becomes elongated due to the confusion of when symptoms first appear. Because of this, quarantined students are missing at least one full week of school.

Julianna Musser, a junior at Neshaminy High School, was absent for about two weeks due to COVID-19.

“I had symptoms basically the whole time I was out, so I was more focused on that than getting my schoolwork done,” Musser said.

Another junior, who asked to remain anonymous, was absent for a week and a half and described a similar experience.

“Especially in the first couple days when my symptoms were bad, the only thing on my mind was just doing what I could to take care of myself.”

Even if they could complete their assignments, they still didn’t exactly understand what they were supposed to be learning because they weren’t directly hearing it from the teacher.

These students both take Advanced Placement and Honors classes, making it even more difficult to learn the content they were absent for.

“Because I’ve been out, there were entire units of things I missed that people just expected me to understand… Even if I did all of the [schoolwork], I didn’t know what was going on,” Musser said.

On top of all of that, tests are expected to be made up because they are unable to be completed at home.

Musser had to make up five tests when she returned to school, and a lot of the material was information she was not confident about due to her extensive absence.
Additionally, midterms are quickly approaching.

“I am not confident that I will do well at all. I know I will do bad,” Musser stated.

A suggestion that was mentioned by students to mitigate the stress felt by those who are absent from school included a Zoom Livestream option for students who are absent.

“I don’t think they should be mandatory, and I don’t think there needs to be much interaction between the teacher and the Zoom viewers either. I just think the option would be of help so you could tune in for lessons or for review days, easing the amount of catching up you have to do upon your return,” the other junior said.

“If they just had a way you could be in class and hear the lesson from the actual teacher, it would make so much more sense than just assuming you could do it,” Musser agreed.

Students at Neshaminy High School who have to be absent due to COVID-19 feel as if there needs to be an option to assist in their return to class. As COVID-19 cases continue to persist across our county and district, students continue to worry about the potential effects catching COVID-19 might have on their performance in school.