“NMSA is handling the pandemic pretty well. They kept us updated and informed, especially through the January spike. If you had symptoms, they sent you a test, and that makes sense. Masks were made optional on March 21, the day after spring break, and I think this should have been delayed at least a week because of people’s travel plans over break.”

— Tara Lujan-Baker, freshman at New Mexico School for the Arts

“As a home-schooled student, not having to deal with COVID in schools was a bonus. What I observe from schools is an OK handling of the pandemic so far, while online didn’t work out well. I think this is because of students’ nonwillingness to learn online. Less people in the class would have been better, in order to keep schools in-person and not deal with online classes. One of the huge reasons why students show up to school in my opinion is to be there in person; and even personally, there were nonschool-related exposures, so home-schooling didn’t completely isolate me from COVID.”

— Amare Kramer, sophomore in homeschool

“Prep did a really good job with online classes. They were training the teachers, who were trying their hardest and pushing for in-person learning. And I think we were the first school to take off the mask mandate, so it’s been good that my school is staying updated with current requirements. I think going online was a positive experience under the circumstances because now we have a closer community and appreciate being at school more than ever after COVID.”

— Anna Knight, senior at Santa Fe Prep

“One thing I think my school could improve is communication to students. We don’t have great communication from the higher-ups to students, and one of the ways I find out information is because my best friend’s mom is a teacher. Something the school handled well, especially this year, is trying to create a sense of community. For example, I thought service week was a really good gathering together of our school, and throughout COVID they tried to keep that community strong.”

— Hazel Blais, sophomore at Mandela International Magnet School

“A downside of being unvaccinated is being excluded from trips like our school trip to St. John’s College. I appreciate that SFPS has let me be in-person even though my parents decided against vaccinating me. At this point, it’s hard to identify what measures are being taken at school because they’ve been so normalized and it’s been such a long time that we’ve been in school with COVID existing. Also, SFPS made masks optional, but many students at Mandela continued wearing them, showing that many kids my age are still worried about COVID and take measures from their own side.”

— Lucas Robbins, freshman at Mandela International Magnet School

“One good thing Santa Fe High did in relation to COVID is that they, at least in some instances, asked us what was best. For example, for the last decision about whether we wear masks, they had everyone vote on when we take them off; if we should take them off right away, after spring break or not at all. They ended up picking after spring break, which represents what most people want. One thing I didn’t appreciate was that the school would tell us what was going on right before the decision would be implemented. For example, we went online for a week and they told us we would be doing that three days before the start of that week.”

— Tyler Krell, Santa Fe High School junior

Bodhi Lewis is a freshman at Mandela International Magnet School. Contact him at bodhijameslewis@gmail.com

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