Covid-19’s unexpected impact on 9th graders


Photographer: Claire R.

Claire R., Senior Editor-in-Chief

In an assembly on Wednesday, December 1st, Mr. Kasky, Ms. Farmer, and Mr. Roberts gathered the 9th graders to address their challenges in transitioning to high school, which have been ongoing since the start of the year. Many 9th graders have not been learning full-time on campus since 7th grade due to COVID, and the effects are far-reaching.

According to the administrators, a multitude of students were involved in separate incidents of bullying and physical confrontations against other students. The school immediately responded to this by giving them the appropriate punishments, even suspending some of those involved. Mr. Kasky, the Associate Principal in charge of 9th and 10th graders, made it exceedingly clear that the mistakes students make now can follow them to university, as the school is obligated to report on certain significant misconducts that occur in the school. He further explained that distance learning may have led to the formation of cliques and stunted the social skills required to accept each other’s differences, emphasizing that therefore, students should try to embody the ASD values and respect all their fellow peers during their time at ASD. As stated by Mr. Kasky, “Today matters, and every day after this in high school.”

Furthermore, on the academic side this year, the 9th graders have had a record-high number of Ds and Fs, exceedingly low grades. The principals discussed how many teachers have been complaining to the administration about 9th graders not following academic expectations and many not turning in deadlines on time. Mr. Kasky clarified that this does not mean that the 9th graders are bad students, just that they are in a period of adjustment as they return to full-time learning. “Now is the time to make changes,” Mr. Kasky encouraged the students. He urged them to seek the assistance of administrators, counselors, and most importantly, teachers if they were struggling, as “teachers respect going to them for help!”

“Ultimately, we are here to support you.” Ms. Farmer echoed his sentiments as Mr. Kasky explained how the school will not be changing what they expect of students; instead, they will be reinforcing their expectations and hope to see positive changes as the year progresses.

Mr. Roberts described how eventually, this group of 9th graders will become seniors and will be role models for their underclassmen. As Mr. Kasky stated, “This is YOUR high school. Let’s make this a positive culture and a positive class.”