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Utah Students Reflect On School During Coronavirus Pandemic

SALT LAKE CITY — The 2020-2021 school year was unlike anything Utah families have experienced before. From masks, to distance learning, to the loss of traditional school activities — COVID-19 changed a lot. So what will Utah students remember most about this year?

“We had to wear masks, keep our distance, have so much restrictions on the things we can do,” said Michelle. “And that’s going to be a memorable story we’ll tell for ages.”

“Just with the global pandemic being absolutely crazy, shaking everything up,” said Ryker.

Many students were quick to point out what they missed.

“Seeing everyone’s faces, all the way all the time,” said Ryker.

“I think I definitely missed just having that normal beginning senior year that everyone just talks about — like senior sunrise, just being there, all the classes, face-to-face, right next to each other – all those little things you take for granted,” said Davion.

Especially for those who did distance learning, interacting with classmates, teachers and friends topped the list of what they missed most this past school year.

Some things students won’t miss going forward?

“I don’t like masks,” said Piper.

“I will not miss like just staring at a screen all day,” said Alice, although she did see one advantage. “I mean I got to stay in pajamas, so that was pretty nice.”

“I didn’t like going back and forth from school to home school,” said Hazel.

“I think my biggest challenge was staying motived to do it by myself, because with in-person, you have the teachers constantly reminding you,” said Morgan.

This pandemic year also brought some new lessons.

“It kind of taught me new stuff. I’ve never used like something called Canvas before,” said Isaac.

“This year taught me to always be safe with the flu or sickness or something,” said Ben.

And that may inspire some future career goals.

“When I’m like bigger and I’m a grown up, I’ll make a vaccine who will like destroy like any, any, any, any of like stuff who will make you sick,” said Aaron.

“I’m just really grateful for all of my teachers who have been working hard to do online, so I’m going to remember that,” said Ella. “I think it was a really good year.”

Many Utah students will be heading back to class soon for summer school.

The state approved millions of dollars to help districts provide remediation for students who struggled during COVID-19.

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