The Reflection

Gull Lake High School's Online News Source

Contact tracing disrupts school experience for Gull Lake freshman

The Covid-19 pandemic caused big changes for the Gull Lake school system, forcing all classes to be held through video conferencing so that everyone remained quarantined and safe. This was a big change to get used to, but the whole school did it together.

However, with more information being discovered about the virus, vaccines beginning to circulate, and looser government restrictions, the schools were able to open their doors for the third trimester, allowing students and families to choose whether they wanted to continue learning online or not.

Both online and in-person schooling systems have their pros and cons. When in-person students are contact traced, meaning that someone around them tested positive for the coronavirus, they are required to self-quarantine for two weeks. This allows them to experience the best, and worst, of both systems in a short period of time, and some are finding that the remote system is affecting them negatively.

Gull Lake freshman Landen Birchmeier is one of those students who had to take a break from in-person classes, and one of the students who is being adversely affected by it.

Birchmeier has a lot on his plate outside of school. He is a member of the marching band as well as an actor with the Performing Arts Company, or PAC. He has also recently gotten two puppies. 

Despite saying that all of his extracurricular activities are going well, Birchmeier said the virtual format has had an effect on his work ethic when it comes to homework.

“When I was remote, I couldn’t really find the mindset to get into work homework-wise,” he said. “I can pay attention during class, but afterward I can’t get any of the assignments done.” 

He also said that this took a toll on his grades, and that he only caught up after returning to in-person classes. 

Birchmeier said that he thinks this is due to his shortened attention span and distractions around his house pulling him away from his work. 

“It’s either a choice of doing homework or playing with puppies. And it’s pretty obvious which one to choose,” he said.

Adjusting to the remote schedule became difficult for him.

“I don’t know when classes start or end, that’s probably the toughest part,” Birchmeier said. 

To help remedy this, he said that he joined his next class immediately after the previous one ended, ignoring the allotted five minutes of passing time.

By Zoe Gobble guest writer

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