Editorial- Our Feelings Towards BHS Handling COVID-19

This editorial shares the opinions of Barnstable High School’s Insight staff.

This year, Barnstable High School faced the unique challenge that schools throughout the United States struggled with due to reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the question of how to open the school safely and effectively. BHS has certainly had its ups and downs while reopening, but now that we are two months in, we feel that we can confidently evaluate how BHS has done.


This year, BHS has been split into quadrants. Cohort “A” attends school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays. Cohort “B” attends school in-person on Thursdays and Fridays. Cohort “C” attends school all four days in person. And Cohort “D” is fully remote. On Wednesdays the building is empty for cleaning. The problems began with the cohorts, since BHS received over 800 cohort change requests, administrators were forced to start the school year a week later. Amidst the cohort confusion, countless students were left without blocks assigned to their classes, leaving many trying to jigsaw their schedule puzzles together. The school year began with a flex block that still has some students uncertain of its purpose, but one thing is for certain, it didn’t work. After approximately two weeks, BHS removed flex block as one of many schedule changes. Wednesday’s schedule was also changed, going from three blocks starting at 8:15, to five blocks beginning at 7:20.

On top of the schedule itself constantly changing, classes were cut causing students to have to use Edgenuity, which many students feel is ineffective for learning new content. With all this in mind, we admire how hard the teachers and staff are working at BHS to ensure that we are safe and comfortable with the schedule changes. The alterations to the schedule show how much the administrators care about getting it right, and we appreciate that. 



With the constant changes, one would assume that BHS would have done a great job keeping students informed about the schedule and cohorts, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. BHS constantly had conflicting emails sent out; several times students could open their Gmail to see a message that would say, “disregard the last email.” Many students were left in the dark when it came to the new schedule and relied heavily on the teachers to know where to go, which is incredibly unfair to the teachers. Many students also were and still are unaware of the fact that if one forgets their RFID, then they are required to spend the day zooming into their classes from the PAC. Not only did the schedule changes catch students off guard, but in the midst of this craziness, progress reports were also coming out. Several students said neither they nor their parents saw the reports in their email. 


Enforcing of the Guidelines:

Though BHS administrators worked for months to put these protocols into place to ensure our safety, at times these guidelines seem optional for students to follow. During passing time, in any given hall, you can find bunches of students walking the wrong direction. No matter what teachers say, they seem unable to reach these students. On top of that, in lunch rooms that don’t have set seats, such as the gym, one can observe a blatant lack of social distancing by maskless students. Though certain students are aware of what they are doing, staff should still make an effort to let students know that what they are doing can endanger themselves and countless others.



This year has certainly been very awkward for new and returning students alike. With not being able to really walk and talk with friends, students have faced difficulty with socializing. One way that many students have tried to socialize has been through lunch, which has its fair share of problems. The problems start with the lunches themselves, which are quite lackluster. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for,” and this certainly rings true with BHS’s free lunches. Though it is a great idea, it certainly hasn’t been executed well. Some students have opened their brown paper bags to find no sandwich, or maybe even four measly carrots. As the school year has gone along though, lunches have steadily improved, adding vegan options and more variety. Students have also become more creative with ways to socialize from a distance.

As we try to stay in person this year, we count on our peers to be responsible in following these guidelines and protocols to keep themselves and others safe. We know how difficult and annoying it can be to try and stay on top of each guideline set by the school, but as we get deeper into the year, we hope that we can keep up the great work and everyone can stay healthy.