On Nov. 16, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a three-week public health order that shut down high schools, colleges, organized sports and casinos. Fenton Area Public Schools returned to virtual learning before the first semester ended.
Fall sports continued this year under the threat of COVID-19, however, they had strict rules that were heavily reinforced. If Fenton High and other schools in the district keep rising in positive cases winter sports will be canceled. This will isolate entire sports teams from participating. Some of these sports include: basketball, wrestling and swim.
For the Tiger Virtual Academy (TVA) students, the connection to the school is even smaller. TVA students are taught using Odysseyware, which provides little to no teacher interaction. They don’t see their friends daily and lose touch with those positive relationships which can lead to depression and the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Winter athletes will have their seasons shortened, if not cancelled. Junior Halee Alexander was on the swim team before their season abruptly ended.
“Our season started late due to the original shut down, we missed our team county meet which is the first big meet of the season,” Alexander said. “Then the weekend before the state meet in Grand Rapids the governor released her public health order which ruined that meet as well. All of us were devastated and school was next to impossible the next day.” r
Freshman Lukas Nye participated in the marching band this year and feels connected to the school through it.
“Even though we couldn’t stay at a camp for marching band this year, the school still found a way to have a season by practicing at school and having spirit day and other small things,” Nye said. “Even though we had to social distance, the school did a great job of keeping us engaged.”
While Fenton High is attempting to keep students engaged, COVID has pushed students to virtual schooling, pushing Fenton High students who chose face-to-face learning back online while TVA students continue online learning.