Students and Teachers Triumph Over Week of COVID Surge


Pictured: My positive COVID test on October 24, 2022 (the start of COVID week) Photo courtesy of Austin Conaty

Joseph Conaty

During the tail end of the first quarter, from October 24th to October 29th, a COVID surge struck Roosevelt. Many students, myself included, had caught the virus which makes sense as the week before was filled with crowded and clumped activities such as the Pep Rally, Class Night, and Homecoming. After missing a full week of school, students and teachers alike were tasked with a mutual challenge. With the quarter wrapping up, students needed to make up what they missed and teachers needed to get the make up grades just in time. This was quite an obstacle for everyone involved, but students and teachers worked together and succeeded in completing missed work before the deadline. 

Students and teachers alike all reacted to the COVID surge from the 24th to the 29th of October which I’m dubbing from here on out as COVID week). Some students, such as Joey Bailor, senior, were extremely affected by contracting COVID from the crowded spirit week activities. Bailor is taking three AP classes this year, and missed “content and in-class instruction” as well as “two big exams for AP Physics C and AP Calculus BC” that set him “behind by a lot”. The experience of dealing with COVID symptoms such as fever and fatigue also made it hard to “read books and solve equations when I[he] barely had the energy to stay awake. 

I personally could relate to missing two big exams due to contracting COVID from the events, as well as the sentiment he stated that he “felt less prepared than[he] I would have been if I had been at school for the week leading up to the exams”. Fortunately, Bailor was able to resolve any issues with grades “fairly quickly and easily” which led to him successfully making up all work and assessments he needed to do before the end of the first quarter. Other students, like Ellie Kim, senior, and Maggie Holland, senior, were less hindered by COVID week. Kim, who avoided going to school during COVID week to ensure she would not get sick, was able to catch up on work relatively quickly and described the transition back to school as “relatively smooth with no problems”. Holland, who also contracted COVID from the spirit week events, noted that although she felt as though she missed out on some of the in-class instruction, “managing online and in-person work wasn’t too difficult” and that her teachers “communicated well back and forth about making up assignments and tests” which resulted in her work getting graded on time. 

For teachers, although this wasn’t the first experience of COVID surges they had gone through before, having to turn in work and alter their teaching made things more stressful. Mr. Slenkovich, a Precalculus teacher, saw a shift in attendance during COVID week where “about ⅓ of the students were absent”. This change caused Slenkovich to change the methods he currently was using for his classes, such as “posting videos online of the lessons done in class that day” as well as “scanning and posting the homework review that was done in class”. Slenkovich also noted that this was a rare occasion where he had to make “second and third versions of tests” while also “waiting on giving back tests” which as a whole slowed the class progress down. Nonetheless, Slenkovich praised his students for “understanding everything they needed to make up” and although he felt slightly more stressed since the quarter was nearly over, he noted that “It’s part of the job for teachers to be adaptable and flexible, and getting through this just required some adjusting”. 

Although the aftermath of COVID week led to experiences of stress and pressures of getting work and tests made up before the first quarter came to a close, we as a community were able to work together and successfully get everything done in time. Getting through COVID week, to me, exemplifies how when we communicate with each other and work together, we accomplish incredible feats against difficult odds. I think that we all wholeheartedly deserve to give ourselves a pat on the back and reassurance that we can overcome whatever challenges face us.