Change in school atmosphere is noticed by students and staff

Student Council members Beth Struble, Mason Marshall, and Abigail Simcox
Missing: Cara Turner

Student Council members Beth Struble, Mason Marshall, and Abigail Simcox Missing: Cara Turner

Rylee C. Ogden, Staff Writer

It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the school’s atmosphere over these past two years. Students, school staff, and administration have been noticing it. Just recently Mr. Bryan, the 11th and 12th-grade guidance counselor, visited 11th grade English classes to talk about scheduling and planning for the future. The lack of school positivity was one focal point.

Mr. Bryan believes there needs to be more positivity in school. He explains, “I think it has been a tough couple of years for students. Getting back into a ‘normal’ way of life and routines has been a challenge. As a result, we need to work harder not only to be present at school, but also to be positive to ourselves, other students, and in our connections with staff. I think positivity at school allows students to feel safe, comfortable, and enjoy their educational journey. If you are remaining positive, that will affect others and, also make it more likely that you’re going to succeed academically and flourish socially with your peers.”

After asking four juniors their view on the change in the atmosphere I can say there has been an issue for a while now.

Junior Beth Struble commented that she notices the negative effects COVID-19 has had on the school atmosphere. She explained, “I think all the fun that was in school was taken out. I understand why we can’t do everything but the fact that we haven’t done anything this year with pep rallies has just made school boring. Also, some people having to quarantine all the time.” She also added that she believes enjoying the small things will increase positivity in the school. As a rising senior when asked what she would want to change if she could she states, “Letting kids be kids without the constant fear of covid. I get it but with it being 2 years in I think we can all agree were tired of not having any fun”

Mason Marshall, Junior Class President, commented that he believes the issues with the masks partially impacted the school negatively through the pandemic. He also explained that students should have the realization that we are not much different than one another to collectively improve positivity through school. He added a humorous comment when asked what he would change as a rising senior. He stated, “Bringing back pizza crunchers will make our school as one.”

Junior Cara Turner stated, “I feel as though the pandemic has, unfortunately, caused everyone has a loss in education. And it seems as though students equally now have a sort of hatred towards school.” She then explained that she believes if the fun aspects of school, pep rallies, field days, etc. returned the positivity would collectively improve. Cara explained what she would change as a rising senior, “…the outlook on school. Instead of students thinking of it as waking up, work, repeat I would encourage students to make a change every day.”

Lastly, Abigail Simcox stated, “I don’t think COVID-19 has affected positively or negatively atmosphere wise. I truly think that it depends on person to person. I think the a-b schedule was a positive thing mostly; During the a-b schedule I felt like there was far less of the dreaded high school drama, and students were a little bit kinder to one another.” She revealed her belief that if everyone was friendly, smile, or even a quick “hi” would collectively improve the school atmosphere. She then explained what she would change about school if she could, “I think it would be the prejudices that we have against each other, and for it to be easier for those who are not in the same ‘cliques’ to be friendly to one another.”

Mr. Bryan’s attitude towards changing the school atmosphere for the good is inspiring. He explained how he thinks students can incorporate positivity throughout the school day. He stated, “If they focus on being positive themselves, it can spread positivity to their peers and staff. Positive self-talk and self-statements breed confidence. If we break it down and focus on being positive ourselves, that will lead to a positive environment in the school if everyone pulls their weight.”

He also left some suggestions on how students can spread positivity. He wrote, “Saying one good thing about yourself each morning can lead to a good day. This can be something like “I can do___” or “I am good at ___”. If you feel confident in yourself, then others can see that in your body language and presence. Being kind to yourself will allow you to be kind to others. Seeing smiling faces in the hallway or classrooms will help others. Pay it forward by offering kindness and positivity to another student or a staff member. Connect with your teachers and staff at Clearfield. Staff wants you to be engaged and not only be ready to learn, but also be inspired by students who are role models for their peers.”

For any students who are struggling to find excitement in school this comment is for you. Mr. Bryan states, “I would say that this is a place that prepares you for life after high school. The tests and assignments can become overwhelming at times, but the most important thing besides getting your education is finding who you are and surrounding yourself with people that you enjoy being around. Spreading positivity in school is important because it creates an environment that you want to be in. Making memories with your friends in high school will be some of the most important things in your young life. This can lead you to being successful in the future. Be confident in yourself and spread kindness. Enjoy these moments and don’t take it for granted.”

Mr. Bryan wanted to leave our readers with one last inspiring notion, “Treat others how you would like to be treated. We are all on the same team here at Clearfield. Support each other and spread kindness and positivity. This is your school. TAKE PRIDE IN IT!”