What High-School is like during the COVID-19 Epidemic in different states


What is it like to go to high school during the COVID-19 epidemic? We asked 3 different seniors from Virginia, New York, and Texas to see what their schedule and school life was like, especially compared to ours here in Utah.

Here in Utah, we are currently on a hybrid schedule, about to transfer over to a four-day schedule. We are split in half by alphabet, A-K go on Mondays and Wednesdays and L-Z are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Not many of us use Zoom, and it’s usually only on Fridays. Sports and Clubs are still running, and if you win a raffle, you can go to the games.

As we transfer into a 4-day schedule, you may be wondering what it’s like. For Lilly Dascanio in Texas, she says it’s just like a normal school, but with protective masks. Although they aren’t allowed their “Prime Time” or a free period, anymore. “It’s just like normal but with masks”-Lilly Dascanio

As for Virginia and New York, both students are taking school completely online. In New York, you spend all day going to different classes over Google Meets. On Wednesday however, you get the day off to work on assignments. The same applies to Virginia, although their off-day is Monday instead.

Many complaints were made about the online school as it takes away the ability to socialize, interact, and receive help from teachers. Although it is nice to stay at home in your pajamas. Abbey Fuhriman from New York says. “I can go to the bathroom between periods easily, and I have access to my kitchen, so lot’s of food!”-Abbey Fuhriman

You may be wondering how the students feel about their schedules and whether or not they are an appropriate response to the pandemic. Many feel unsure about going to 4-day school here, and Lily Dascanio feels that way too. As someone on the full-week schedule, she feels like they might be though, due to the vigilance in wearing masks.

Shay and Abbey both mirror each other’s opinions. When entering her high school, Abbey says you have to go through temperature checks and there are many signs. Shay says that they are taking Parents’ opinions into account and have many parent surveys. They both feel like their schools are taking appropriate precautions against COVID-19.

Although their schedules differ, one thing seems to be the same. The changes in clubs and sports. None of the schools seem to be having them, at least in person. Abbey and Shay are both part of the drama programs at their schools and the shows will continue but virtually. In New York, All sports have been moved to the spring. In Virginia, they are still doing sports, but practices are all outside. “They’ve barely started talking about the fall play. They are just going to record it once and you will be able access it online.” -Shay Barney

Their grades seem to be improving, at least for those completely online. It’s easier to focus on school when you don’t have many extracurriculars, Abbey says. When it was announced that school was going to be online, Shay Barney dropped her AP classes so it would be easier, and she credits that for her good grades. Not everyone is having an easier time, Lilly says that her motivation seemed to have disappeared, and she doesn’t like school as much.

As for learning platforms, they differ as well. In Texas, they use a program called “Moodle” as well as Google Classroom depending on the class. In Virginia, they use Google Meetings, rather than Zoom, and Canvas. In New York, they use entirely Google-related apps, such as Classroom and Meetings, for their schooling.

As for virtual meetings, Lilly only uses them for clubs. In Virginia, they use them every day, for practically every class, Shay says. The same is true in New York according to Abbey Fuhriman.

They can all agree that COVID weighs heavily on their minds at school. As Shay and Abbey are online, they think about the social aspect, and missing that. Missing the ability to talk to friends and hang out. For Lilly, she thinks about it according to the teacher, some are very vigilant about sanitizing and some aren’t.

As they are all Seniors, they definitely wish COVID-19 could ease up. A lot of Senior traditions have been canceled, or ruined Lilly says. For Shay Barney, her different classes are causing her to graduate a semester early. In New York, sometimes they get changed rather than canceled. Usually, they would paint a giant rock, with all of the Senior’s names on it, but due to COVID-19, and the renovation of their school, the Seniors were forced to paint small, personal rocks, socially distanced.  Abbey expresses gratitude for the changes rather than cancellations.

“There are people who are putting effort into making this year the best that they can for the Seniors, so at least there is that” -Abbey Fuhriman

It’s easy to see that COVID-19 has affected their lives, just as much as it has ours. Their school lives are completely different, and they have to miss out on their Senior year, which is something everyone looks forward to for years.

“My Best Friend is doing a remote. We don’t have any Pep Rallies. All the Social Aspects of School were kind of ruined”- Lily Dascanio

They all express a longing for their normal lives, but one thing was common among all of them. They are remaining positive. They each expressed new positives about working online or different changes. Not everything was regretful. Which remains to be a powerful lesson. Even when everything seems bad, focus on the positives, which is just what they did.


I would like to thank our interviewees, Abbey Fuhriman from James I O’Neill High School in New York, Shay Barney from Stafford High School in Virginia, and Lilly Dascanio from Byron Nelson High School in Texas. The answers strictly pertain to these individuals and High Schools and do not pertain to the entirety of the state. All opinions belong to the individuals mentioned and not to the High Schools they go to.