Students share the impacts Covid has had on Placer’s sense of community

Students share the impacts Covid has had on Placers sense of community

Story by Addie Buckingham, Messenger Staff Writer

The pandemic has changed many things about Placer’s environment from students and teachers being quarantined, students having to wear masks, and the loss of indoor rallies and events. The big question is whether or not the Hillmen community has been divided. 

“I’d say the pandemic kind of stunted people’s development in the sense of knowing how to behave in a social setting,” said senior Kieran Buckingham. “I think more rallies and school-wide events would bring people together.” 

Buckingham’s comments seem to be the feeling of many other students and staff as well. 

“I can’t really compare this year to a regular year at Placer because I’m a freshman, but I would say that people seem to be acting more immature. Maybe the pandemic made them lose that sense of maturity in a public area like school,” said freshmen Caroline Rednall.  When asked what can be done to improve the sense of community among students, Rednall stated,  “More events that include the whole school would be fun.” 

There is some differentiation between the grade levels, however. The sophomore class did not have a normal first year of high school. According to Dash Tebbs, it didn’t make students more immature, but more distant from each other.

 “I don’t think it can really go back to how it was completely. I feel like we never really got a chance to connect. But the student body was definitely more united before school was shut down because of COVID. I think that’s true for other schools as well, not just Placer.”

Each grade level has had a different experience with school during the course of the pandemic. Some were affected more than others.

 Lisa Roeder-Sussman has been working at Placer for 27 years, and has observed and participated in many different events that the school has put on. Although for Roeder-Sussman, “It was never really an issue to connect with students. Even online we worked well together.” Things still changed drastically. “I think COVID has made the students more aware of our (teachers and staff) responsibility within the school and community. What their role is to make sure everyone is healthy. Everyone really stepped up. I think we just need to get back to a new sense of normal. Everything has been kind of tweaked; like rallies and graduation. I think advisory and vault are really helpful.”

“I like advisory. It’s a good way to break up the day and it’s nice to spend time with people I know. Last term I didn’t have many people I knew in my classes, but I looked forward to advisory because I could see my friends.” Caroline Rednall said, “I think things like that definitely improve the community, kind of in a way where you can’t really tell, but it happens.” 

Overall, students feel like some sense of community at Placer has been lost. COVID, learning through the computer, and being away from friends has a great impact on the student body. However, Hillmen are hopeful that over time the community will recover, and come back stronger than ever. 

Classes and clubs such as Vault, advisory, and leadership contribute tremendously to the community at Placer, and will play a huge role in bringing it back.