How COVID-19 is affecting RHS students and staff

Schools will be shut down until at least April 27 to try and slow the spread of the deadly virus.


Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee delivers an address on March 23, 2020. (Photo from the official Washington State Office of the Governor)

As most people are aware, the widely spreading COVID-19 virus hit home. School will not be in session until at least April 27 in hopes of preventing the spread of the disease.

For many students, this means a loss of sports, extra-curricular activities, and major events such as choir concerts, Dramafest, and the Daffodil Festival parade. The senior class has especially felt the impact of not being able to experience their many last moments here at Rogers, and senior athletes who play spring sports won’t be able to have their last season as a Ram, or get their senior night. The situation is all a big change that is difficult to adapt to at this time, as our community becomes more and more isolated.

RHS Daffodil princess Megan Gratzer said, “As a senior, it’s super disappointing to have part of the year taken away and be unsure of what the future holds, but I’m hopeful.”

As for teachers, this means moving classes online to a “distance learning” model, which can be difficult to adjust to for both them and students.

AP student Tristan Moczynski, a senior, said, “There is something unique and different about human interactions. I am taking AP Calculus, AP Physics and AP Government, and it is nearly impossible to get that same learning experience and outcome.”

Julia Melchert, a senior who is taking four AP classes, agrees, stating, “It’s difficult to catch new posts and sometimes new assignments. Plus, it’s really inconsistent across classes. I’m sure it’s difficult for teachers to figure out too, so I expect some bumps along the way.”

However, it’s not just AP students who are feeling uncertain.

“I think it will be different because we are held accountable for getting things done…and not having teachers telling us to get work done,” senior Zach Rossmeier said. “Regular classes can’t give us grades so it’s our job if we want to continue to learn content for essentially no grade.”

According to RHS principal Jason Smith, AP Testing is still taking place and will be online as a 45-minute, free-response test. Access to live assistance and instructions from College Board AP Teachers will start on March 25th to help students with review on the AP YouTube Channel.

Staff in the Puyallup School District (teachers, paraeducators, bus drivers, food service workers, and other staff) have come together as one group to tackle this new situation. As an example, food workers are providing meals Monday through Friday 11-12 p.m. to all children up to 18 years of age.

The pandemic has also put a strain on the U.S. economy, with a 20% decline in stock markets according to USA Today news.

Although this point in time is unpredictable and nerve-wracking, we must accept the tragic consequences and work to contain this virus by taking small and frequent precautions. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to protect yourself and others is by washing your hands, avoiding close contact, staying home when sick, covering coughs, and cleaning/disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

By abiding by State Governor Inslee’s orders: his “stay home, stay safe” order, social distancing, closing all places that hold social gatherings of fifty or more, closing nonessential businesses, and turning restaurants or cafes into takeout/delivery only, while also following the five prevention procedures, the Puyallup School District can increase the chance of allowing students to come back to school. We can get through this global pandemic if we all do our part to make the community a safer place!