Contrasts and Similarities Between WCSD’s and BMCHS’s Handling of COVID-19


Addison Pattalock, Staff Reporter

Since the pandemic hit northern Nevada in March, there have been many changes that students have had to adjust to. From the closing of stores and restaurants, ski resorts and parks, and even schools, life has been seriously flipped upside down for most. Schools all around the world have been canceled, rearranged, or moved to online depending on where you live. I began this academic year at Reno High School but ended up transferring to Bishop Manogue because the WCSD proved to be unorganized, and it was clear they didn’t know how to approach the pandemic with a legitimate strategy.

Bishop Manogue managed a stable transition through these hard times by ensuring that all the students receive direct classroom instruction every school day. Half of the students are in class physically for half of the time, while the other half of the students are logged into the classrooms virtually through their computers. In-person instruction is pretty normal as far as education goes; however, when students are in class virtually, it can be hard sitting in front of a computer staring at the screen for four to five hours. As much as it is true that you are virtually in class, it’s different from having that real interaction and connection with students and teachers. It is isolating to be removed from the social interactions and the fun of school.
Manogue has all virtual students sign into their classes and zoom right into class where the teachers are providing lectures. All students are seeing, hearing, and learning the same thing at the same time as the in-person students. This method of distance learning allows everyone to work together just like a normal school day would be without the pandemic restrictions. So far this has been working very effectively for the actual “learning” part of school. However, being online and virtually in school for 5 continuous days can be exhausting or just being online for a day can be confusing, overwhelming, and isolating from classmates.
Reno High has also worked hard to keep things stable for their students, but they simply don’t have as many resources as Bishop Manogue, which means it is harder to have all students stay “in school” everyday. The hybrid schedule at Reno High has students physically in school every other day and distance learning on the other alternating days. Distance learning does not include teacher lectures or any in-class activities; teachers post work online and students complete the work on their own timeline.
The day on, day off schedule provides students more interactions with classmates and feels closer to a normal school day. Complicating the hybrid schedule was the ever-present, and newly created, smoke days for which WCSD closed all its schools. School was hard enough trying to navigate the hybrid schedule; then the random smoke days interrupted any normal schedule which further cut off necessary student interaction. Trying to learn under the constantly changing schedule was nearly impossible and the students definitely suffered.
Even though the schools work very differently, there is always something to improve on. Through this pandemic, some students have noticed that school has become easier for them and they are getting better grades, but other students are struggling more than they ever have. Class in school and out of school can be hard now but other students have had better results on this occasion. It all depends on how you like it. Even though this pandemic has changed a lot of things it will get better hopefully to the point where everyone can go back to school and everything goes back to normal.