Anderson: MSMS’s COVID-19 rules are for the better

MSMS+students+and+faculty+prepare+to+face+a+new+school+year+during+the+midst+of+the+pandemic., CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MSMS students and faculty prepare to face a new school year during the midst of the pandemic.

Hayden Anderson, Student Life Editor

As COVID-19 through the United States, schools are changing their plans based on vaccination status and cases in the state. Due to these changes in the nation, the MSMS administration released its 2021-2022 COVID-19 operating plan last week which included many different changes. 

Though many are derived from last year’s rules, others were updated due to the vaccination rates in the country. Though these rules have been hard on the juniors and seniors, they are great improvement from the rules from last year.

The largest change for the seniors this year is the return of the normal schedule rather than the block schedule from last year. This schedule consists of eight periods on Monday, Wednesday and Friday as well as five periods on Tuesday and Thursday. Due to the amount of negativity from both faculty and students, the COVID-19 plan did not include the block schedule as an option. This negativity was due to the amount of stress and fast-paced courses. This period schedule is the best option for everyone and will give everyone a slower-paced schedule, which allows for a better learning experience. 

The best changes MSMS made so far are the rules that differ for vaccinated and unvaccinated students. Since questioning vaccination status is considered a violation of the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act, MSMS is letting students submit vaccination status on their own to Leanne Alexander, the director for student affairs. MSMS is also giving certain incentives to vaccinated students such as not being asked to fully quarantine if considered to be close contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19. For example, vaccinated students will only have to quarantine for three to five days while unvaccinated students will have to quarantine for up to 10 days. This is an amazing option for MSMS since this gives unvaccinated students an incentive to get vaccinated. To me, this also shows MSMS cares and shows thankfulness for those that are vaccinated already. I am very happy that MSMS incorporated these rules into the COVID-19 plan.

Another big change I feel better about is MSMS students being able to leave campus. Due to the feelings of entrapment many students experienced last year, I am very relieved to hear about this change, mainly because we won’t be surrounded by school 24/7 and we can actually get a break from school. As a student last year, I can say it was very draining, being on campus all the time with no break. With the ability to leave campus, many of us can finally experience going out to dinner after a group project or yelling Olivia Rodrigo’s album at the top of our lungs after failing an organic chemistry test.

With all of this in mind, I want to conclude by saying thank you to the administration and faculty. With the ongoing changes COVID-19 has on a daily basis, I can only imagine the number of decisions that have to be made every day. Furthermore, many of the faculty members have to learn the new rules and guidelines that are made each day by both MSMS and the Center of Disease Control. To everyone behind the scenes and upfront, thank you for everything you have done in this pandemic; we appreciate you for all you do.