Phase Two: A Solution, or a Problem?

Phase+Two%3A+A+Solution%2C+or+a+Problem%3F

The COVID-19 pandemic has created major devastation throughout Timpview High School, affecting countless students every day. Besides the two days in November, up until the two weeks preceding winter break, Timpview was in “Phase One:” a schedule that splits the student body into two halves, with everyone going to school only twice a week. The district had planned on permanently moving the secondary schools to Phase Two—the phase where everyone goes to school four days a week—starting the eighth, but due to the resulting, sudden increase of Coronavirus cases, Timpview had to return to Phase One in order to maintain a reasonably low amount of cases. In those short two days, students were able to get a glimpse of what combined classes in the age of corona look like, and build an opinion for it as well. 

“I was worried about it at first because the cases were escalating so quickly, ” said sophomore Isabella Williamson when asked about the new phase. “I think it was worth it as long as they continued to keep everything as safe and clean as possible.”

But some students disagreed with the district’s handling of the situation. “I don’t think it was well planned out or properly assessed if we were ready for Phase Two,” claimed senior Sarah Johnson. “Cases of COVID were skyrocketing from all the Halloween parties two weeks earlier… I felt moving to Phase Two was more about people being impatient than it actually being safe to do so.”

Sarah isn’t the only one that thinks Phase Two isn’t well planned out. “I thought Phase Two was nice because we got to interact with more people [and] see who’s, like, in our classes, but it was nicer to keep going on a schedule with Phase One… That one bump of Phase Two as an inconsistency felt weird. I don’t think Phase Two was worth it,” remarked freshman Sophie Tran.

Rebekah Yorgason, a junior, believes that Phase Two is a great choice, working as a motivator to complete school work. “I feel like I had more motivation to get my work done because I realized that there were so many other people going through it too. Getting to see all those other students that were going through a similar situation as me with school was really nice,” she said.

In contrast, fellow junior Linnea Oscarason thought that difficulties, such as finding a safe route without crowds, made Phase Two more trouble than it was worth.  “I feel like it was very unnecessary because the outcome of moving to Phase Two was pretty obvious and it felt like it would be making for a less safe environment for nothing,” she said.

Beyond time spent learning in school, students also saw effects on their school work and social life with the changes of the phases. Surveyed students widely agreed that the school work itself as well as ease of socializing both became more difficult with the shift. When asked about what effects of Phase Two were most prominent in their lives, the previously mentioned students gave pretty similar answers: difficulty with school work and socializing.

“[For a] first year of high school it’s pretty stressful, but Phase One gives us three extra days to do school work. It would be nicer to have a ‘regular phase’ or school year to experience the great highschool experience everyone talks about,” Sophie emphasized. 

In addition, Sarah explained that she hasn’t been able to keep up with her social life or school work since the first COVID outbreak. “School was really hard with too much work and no actual learning, so I’ve given up on trying. And [with my] social life, I’ve stopped caring about the people who used to be in my life, so I’ve replaced them with jobs.”

Many Timpview students are not just struggling with schoolwork, but also with their social interactions. Students have been disappointed by their school year at Timpview inconsistently changing with the virus, not allowing them to meet and experience the great expectations they had had for this school year.

Despite all of these issues, as of December 7, Timpview has moved back into Phase Two. With many students upset about the issues arising from the change and unclear plans set by the school board for the future, the upcoming months are anything but certain for Timpview High School.