As of Sunday night, 33 states, as well as Washington, D.C., have called for the closure of public schools as a result of COVID-19. These closures could last until the end of the academic school year, raising concerns for students and parents of all grade levels. According to the Washington Post, at least 32.5 million public school students have seen their education interrupted across at least 64,000 schools. These closures could last two weeks, four weeks, or even months.
Although some students may be excited about some time off, school closures have the possibility to change the course of high school student’s remaining time before they jump into their post-secondary plans.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who started the wave of school closures across the US, initially closed schools on March 12. DeWine said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that public school students in Ohio may not return to school for the rest of the academic school year. “We’ve informed the superintendents why we’ve closed schools for three weeks and … the odds are this is going to go on a lot longer, and it would not surprise me at all if schools did not open again this year,” says DeWine.
Additionally, The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said that closing schools for eight weeks or more may have a greater impact on limiting the spread of coronavirus than two- to-four-week closures. “Shorter-term closures will likely make little difference in the spread of the disease, new CDC guidance states, even as K-12 school districts across the country began announcing school closures within the shorter time frame,” according to the CDC.
For current High School Juniors, even Sophomores and seniors, delays in SAT Testing have been announced and could put some dents in their plans. In a statement made by the College Board on March 16, the SAT scheduled for May 2, 2020, has been canceled. In addition, Makeup SAT exams scheduled for March 28, after numerous test centers closed for the March 14 exam, have also been canceled. As of now, the SAT scheduled for June 6, 2020, will still be administered.
Many questions in regards to Advanced Placement (AP) Testing are arising. AP Tests are administered by The College Board, the same company that administers the SAT. These tests are scheduled to occur from May 4–8 (Week 1) and from May 11–15 (Week 2). According to The College Board, “The AP Program is finalizing streamlined AP Exam options that would allow students to test at home, depending on the situation in May. We’re working to give every AP student the opportunity to claim the college credit they’ve earned. The AP Program will communicate the details of these additional solutions to educators and students by March 20.”
For high school seniors, it’s college decision season; for Juniors, it’s time to start visiting campuses. Due to the closure of over 200 colleges and universities across the U.S., usual spring-season tours, admitted student days, interviews, and overnight events have been canceled. Choosing a school can be a stressful, yet exciting experience, but, with COVID-19 being in the way, the task can be challenging.
College decisions for seniors may have to be made through virtual tours, using the opinions of current and former students enrolled at their respective colleges, and even gut instincts. Delays and postponements of commencement also weigh on senior’s shoulders, as well as the possibility of cancellation of other events like senior class trips, spring break, and prom.
For spring-sport athletes, the cancellation or suspension of the spring season may become an unfortunate reality. For the majority of high schools, the cancellation of school also means the suspension of practices, games, travel, and tournaments. Seniors, with their final season in jeopardy, are at odds with their last few months on the track, court, or field, sadly being cut short.
Although these desolate circumstances are quickly arising, it is better for us as a society to be safe rather than sorry. It’s also important to keep a positive mindset and a positive outlook. As Jim Geraghty of the National Review says, “We Will Get Through the Coronavirus. We Get Through Most Everything. This is a scary time. But we’ve lived through scary times before.”
For more up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, visit CDC.gov.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.