Total Responses: 636
Student Responses: 539
(28 percent of the total student population at MC)
Teacher Responses: 28
Staff Responses: 34
Parent Responses: 35
DISCLOSURE: This poll was solely run by the MC Sun and has no affiliation with MC administration other than those who participated to take the poll. These questions have been created and distributed by MC Sun staff writers.
Welcome back to Mt. Carmel High School! This time, students, teachers, and staff are truly back at school to see the upper half of everyone’s faces. While 100 percent of MC’s student body has returned to in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year, a consensus on COVID-19 school policies and personal courses of action to handle the virus is yet to be analyzed. However, in a recent poll sent out by the MC Sun, MC’s faculty members, students, teachers, staff, and parents were all given a chance to answer several questions regarding their opinions on the new learning system.
In a total of 636 responses, 539 students (about 28 percent of the total student population at MC), 28 teachers, 34 staff members, and 35 parents shared their views on the mask mandate, their vaccination status, and more.
Compared to the mostly virtual 2020-2021 school year, an overwhelming majority of the participants claim that this all in-person school year is better or much better. Parents and teachers, especially, strongly favor this year as opposed to last year. Overall, about 75 percent of all voters agreed that this year was better or much better than the previous.
Although most Sundevils find an advantage in a fully in-person school year, a small minority argue how the effects of last year’s online learning have had detrimental effects on the quality of this one. One student at MC discusses their point of view as a new sophomore who spent their freshman year fully online.
“All in all, I think school is the same, just school with masks. I feel as if it’s still a bit difficult because of the little amount of input I was able to get through virtual learning. So starting off school, I felt kind of clueless and hopeless in certain classes,” an MC sophomore said.
While sometimes considered a touchy subject, a very large portion of MC appears to have received a vaccination. Nearly 80 percent of voters claim to be fully vaccinated. Teachers and staff are almost all fully vaccinated, while students’ vaccination status lies around 78 percent. An additional five percent of students are yet to get a vaccine but plan on receiving one in the near future. About seven percent of students are not vaccinated and do not plan on getting one, while the remaining seven percent have abstained from answering the provided question about their vaccination status.
Among teachers and staff, a majority consider the mask mandate very important. However, some teachers and staff still comment on the mental wear and tear of wearing a mask all day.
“Although I think wearing masks is important, wearing them all day is exhausting and sometimes I feel defeated,” an anonymous teacher said.
Parents, on the other hand, seem to vacillate on the importance of the mandate. While most parents consider the masks to be important or very important, more than 20 percent of parents are strongly opposed to the mask mandate. A student also points out specific inconsistencies with the mask mandate.
“I do not understand why we have to wear mask[s] inside when teachers are passing out and collecting papers. The rules do not make sense, especially when we are hugging outside and sitting right next to each other at lunch,” the student said.
While MC as a whole vastly enjoys seeing one another at school instead of on a computer screen, the majority of students, teachers, and staff all desire to reestablish asynchronous Fridays once again.
“I really hope that we reinstate asynchronous Fridays because they really helped out all students with sleep, homework, personal health [including] mental health which is so important for all students,” an anonymous student said.
Teachers also commented on the observable benefits of reinstating asynchronous learning on Fridays.
“For me and many other students at this school that I know, it would be very helpful to keep doing asynchronous Fridays,” an anonymous teacher said.
Parents, on the other hand, appear to be equally split between preferring, opposing, and having indifferent to asynchronous Fridays.
Taken as a whole, students see the most variance in thinking among the four provided questions while teachers and staff hold the most uniform answers. Parents, meanwhile, usually seem to hold the dissenting opinion among the four target parties.
Nearly a month into the 2021-2022 school year, COVID-19 protocol has yet to change, but students, teachers, staff, and parents alike are grateful to see bright eyes above the masks for now.