COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - Collierville parents have been outspoken about how they want their children to attend school this year. Now five Collierville High School seniors are sharing their thoughts on their own education.
Jaylen Hughes, Sruti Gandreti, Sharon Lee, Jack Siegel and Alex Zhang never imagined the changes that would come during their final year.
“Even six months ago there’s no way any of us could’ve seen this whole situation coming,” said Zhang.
The seniors have not seen each other face-to-face in months, and it may still be a while before they can all reunite.
Zhang said he understands why the pandemic has been a challenge for districts returning to school.
“It’s so hard for everybody to make decisions on what is the right thing to do,” he said.
Collierville High School will be following a hybrid model this fall. Students will attend school two days a week and have school online three days a week. The days students attend school in person are assigned based on last name.
Three of these seniors like the hybrid model.
Jaylen Hughes is one of them.
“I learn better face to face,” she explained.
Jack Siegel feels the hybrid model will help with social distancing in the typically overcrowded hallways.
“Eighty percent of parents wanted to send their students back to school full time. I knew there was no way that was happening,” said Siegel.
Sruti Gandreti prefers 100% online learning.
“My main concern is, despite how many policies and guidelines are going to be set, are students really going to follow them,” she said.
One thing they will all miss is participating in extracurricular activities.
“I was kind of looking forward to having four full years of choir, but that probably won’t happen this year,” said Hughes.
But they are not worried about it hurting their college applications.
"What we've seen are colleges being pretty gracious because of COVID-19," said Siegel.
Sharon Lee hopes that the school district strengthens mental health support, "especially with counselors and other mental health services, because I know a lot of students are really struggling right now."
It may not be the senior year the five envisioned, but it is sure to be unique.
“We don’t have a lot of data in terms of how everything is going to work out,” said Zhang. “So it’s going to be interesting to see how the situation unfolds.”