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Local Student Expresses The Difficulties Of Changing Environments While Preparing To Return To School Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) -- We're starting to see more school districts opening up their doors to bring students and staff back inside. They'll quickly notice the many changes due to COVID-19.

From in-person, virtual, hybrid and back to in-person instruction again, the change can be overwhelming for students and at times stressful.

KDKA's Lindsay Ward learned some students will have to take a step back before they move forward in their classes.

Elisabeth Ervin will be a junior at the New-Kensington-Arnold School District.

She shared what it was like for her and other students last year. Initially, when her district shutdown, she was anxious and nervous. It was challenging at times to get work done or even understand it. Over time, she and others were able to adjust but because classes were virtual, she says it was easy to lose focus.

"It's stressful having all this change and now moving everything online. You lose motivation sometimes, even I lost motivation last year and stuff. So, just missing out on certain things, because you're not motivated to do it will definitely be tricky. But I think everybody knows all of this was rough," said Elisabeth Ervin.

There was help if students needed it. Elisabeth says teachers were always open and willing to help by chatting online or talk by phone.

Watch as KDKA's Lindsay Ward reports:


But it goes beyond learning in the classroom or virtually. It's also about joining activities again, going to games and attending special events like prom. For many students, those activities are important.

"Last time I had a normal school dance was like my freshman year. Now I'm a junior and that's just kinda weird to think about. I definitely think there are ways we can make it work," said Ervin.

And that could mean thinking creatively.

"Just whatever it takes to at least experience it. It might be a little different, but I don't want to leave high school saying I never went to prom or I never got to do this," said Ervin.

Right now, the district requires students K-12 to wear masks, something Elisabeth says she's happy to do if that means learning in-person again.


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