ArtQuest Finds Creative Solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected ArtQuest’s traditions and rules that would normally be witnessed in an average school year. On August 27th, in the ArtQuest Main Office, a practical and engaging interview was conducted in a small, quiet office space featuring Evan Englar, the ArtQuest Councilor about how COVID-19 has affected ArtQuest this school year. “It was like being interviewed for a job, all over again” Englar says.

Article and Photo by Emily Lasley

This COVID-restricted school year has taken effect on the traditions and rules throughout many distinct districts. ArtQuest; a specialized program featuring many diverse artistic students, is no exception in this matter. The administration of ArtQuest is experiencing frequent difficulties with Aeries and health regarding staff and students. The ArtQuest councilor, Evan Englar goes into further detail about how ArtQuest operates this year, including a prediction of how the rest of the year may convert into.

The most prominent issue that was discussed was about Aeries, the newest form of student-parent-teacher portal. “Aeries has been the most troublesome, and it keeps bringing new problems with it like it doesn’t show staff who’s even in ArtQuest, or doesn’t tell students who their counselor is,” Englar indicated. “Students have been very understanding and respectful, they understand why I haven’t been able to respond to emails or change their classes until a week or two later,” Englar vouches for how cooperative the students have behaved thus far. “It has been extremely overwhelming, and it might stay that way for a while longer,” Englar admits.

This school year, the school rules and policies are still in effect (before the pandemic) alongside the typical COVID-19 mandate; to wear a mask and socially distance yourself. There has been a recognizable difference in opinions regarding the safety of staff and students during school hours. “If someone were to find out that they have Covid, the staff would advise a health technician, and all school staff would be mindful about it,” Englar explains.

The ongoing California fire, the Caldor fire has damaged air quality sorely. Forcing students to adapt to more abnormalities found in a normal school year. “We predict that we are going to have to keep adapting to changes as time moves forward as we did with covid and the fires. We are all unfortunately used to all of the changes, and the disasters, even though we shouldn’t, like it was second nature.”  Englar bitterly responds. 

As a result of the absurd situation the students are in, mental health will become more prominent and more of an issue. “We all need to pay closer attention to mental health. We should all receive some sort of mental health help, and we need to stop the stigma on talking about mental health openly,” Englar suggests. 

Despite all of the drawbacks this year, most students have been noticeably happy to be physically back on the school campus, in correlation to last year’s distance learning response.

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