Five Questions with Vance Lear

Close contact exposure at school forces student into quarantine on multiple occasions

Hannah Fitts

Photo courtesy of Vance Lear

Senior Vance Lear opted to spend his last year of high school in-person after initially being forced to attend virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lear was aware that the risk of exposure becomes much greater, but he was determined to try to make the most of his senior year. Unfortunately, like many other in-person students, contact tracing revealed that Lear was exposed more than once and as a result has been asked to quarantined multiple times.

How many times have you been quarantined?
I’ve been sent home from being exposed at school three times–on Sept. 1, 2020, Dec. 17, 2020, and most recently, Jan. 22, 2021. 

How have you felt being quarantined has affected you academically?
It has impacted my grades dramatically and I literally have learned to hate school. I’ve always been a kid who loves to learn, but this has ruined it for me. 

Do you prefer to be an in-person or a virtual student?
I prefer to attend in person for sure. I just wish we could go back to our old in-person schedule. I understand why we have the hours we do but I feel like an hour and a half classes are way too long. 

If you could give your teachers feedback on addressing the online kids, what would you say to them?
Putting more time in to make sure the information is clear and everyone is on the same page. Virtual students need more attention. It’s simple: it’s not easy for virtual kids and especially for students who have been forced to go back and forth between online and in-person. We’ve been in classrooms our whole lives. Why would you not pay more attention to them?

What has been the hardest class you have had to adjust to, being forced to attend online?
Math, 100%. Math has never been my strong suit in the first place and now when I get on Zoom it’s just not possible. I’ve had good grades in math because of the one-on-one interaction with teachers and without that, I have noticed that my grades have dropped.