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'Elevating Voices' Submissions by Grade Level



The student responses on this page are opinion and do not necessarily represent The Oregon Department of Education’s guidance or recommendations.

Responses by Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten

  • Can you imagine ways we can help each other better?
    • Each week we gather as a preschool community in a studio explore time google hangout or a music google hangout. We talk and share many things. On this day I asked my students where they found joy. Prescott Elementary
      • Student #1"I got the card you sent me! Look it's right here."
      • Teacher "How does the card bring you joy?"
      • Student #1 "When I miss you, I go and hold it."
      • Teacher "Did anyone else find joy this week?"
      • Student #2 "I made a puppet. Can you see it? It's a unicorn! I take it in my backyard. There are lots of bees in my backyard right now."
      • Student #3 holds up a stuffed monkey and shakes it around
      • Teacher "Does your monkey bring you joy?"
      • Student #4 and #5 run away from the screen and grab monkeys. They hold them close to the screen for everyone to see.
      • Teacher "Wow! So many monkeys. Did you all realize you had that connection? It looks like monkeys bring a lot of our friends joy."
      • Reflection: As I look over this brief exchange between preschool friends, I can see their desire to connect with each other is strong. Perhaps even stronger during this time of distance learning.  Iti s not easy to find ways to connect remotely and share our feelings.  And it may be the most important thing for all for us to feel right now- connected.  When we were able to gather as a community in person, practicing the habit of making connections was always a priority.  I notice my students continuing to rely on that habit now as we do our best to explore things like texture, sound, line, color, nature and joy at a distance.

Kindergarten

  • How has your life changed because of school closures and the state’s response to Covid-19? Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?
    • We discussed Covid-19 during a career day study. We discussed, "What should Oregon's leaders be learning from the Covid-19 crisis? First of all, Kinders needed government, leaders and Covid-19 defined for them first. We discussed all of those words. Then they said government and leaders sounds to them like Grandparents telling you what to do. Then they thought people should just get a shot. People get shots to stay healthy. Then they said they missed the furniture most at school. They are tired of being at home and sitting on furniture that is too big for them. They also knew firefighters and police were outside and still working. They are also sad they will not be able to play with the Kindergarten toys next year, because they will be in first grade. These are not the answers I was expecting, but this is how Kindergarten English Language Learners feel. They don't seem to mind being at home, but the furniture issue was their biggest concern, being uncomfortable sitting on large furniture in their kitchens. Grant Watts Elementary School
    • Student A: I have been able to play with my brother and sisters more, but I miss being at school and seeing everybody. Student B: I have been staying home during the Coronavirus days.Student C: I have been hanging out with my mom. I am frustrated I can't see my friends. Student D: Positive: I learned how to play Minecraft and have enjoyed more time with my family, help caring for the garden, seeing my neighbor friends outside everyday. (Waving across the street and talking on the walkie-talkie) Negative: not able to hug my grandpa and grandma or play on the play ground. Student E: I like spending more time with my family. But I really miss my friends and my teachers. I really miss learning new things at school Prescott Elementary
    • “The virus makes me sad because I can’t go to school to learn, or see my Teacher or see my friends. I’m also sad I can’t play in the playground for recess” “The virus makes me happy because I get to be home and spend all day with my Mommy” Prescott Elementary
  • What is your favorite part of Distance Learning?
    • My Favorite Part of distance learning?: Working at any time from home while relaxing in pajamas and spending extra time with family. Getting extra play time because there was not as much work to do as expected in the classroom. Loved seeing homeroom teacher through the videos, since they could not see them in person. It was a safe alternative during the pandemic. How it Feels Different?: Many students did not like it and would rather be in the classroom because they could not see their teachers and classmates, which made them sad. Had to work on a device instead of hands on activities like at school, so thought it was boring. Could not interact with teachers during lessons to answer or get feedback. Not a good alternative for some households. Highland Hills Elementary
    • The most frequent response to this question was that the students liked seeing their teacher on the lesson videos that were sent out.  Many also stated that they missed their friends and teacher.  They also mentioned the flexibility in the time frame that they had to complete their work and they liked that they could eat snacks more often at home while they completed their work. Highland Hills Elementary
    • Overall, the responses I got were that they enjoyed the videos a lot because they missed their teacher and wanted to be in the classroom so the videos allowed them to see their teacher. They have enjoyed being able to learn from home because they get to spend time with their families but they miss all the activities of school and it doesn't feel the same. I also had multiple responses about not liking distance learning and wanting to be back in school like normal with their teachers and their friends. Highland Hills Elementary
    • Parents were laid off or lost their jobs, and couldn’t pay rent while waiting for unemployment. Daily life and finances are difficult, a struggle, exhausting. It is hard staying home all of the time and not seeing family, friends, teachers. Some families are playing together more, others are missing parents because they are working more as frontline workers. “My uncle can’t hug me when he gets home cause he has to shower from working at the hospital and my aunt can’t run her business because she is taking care of us.” Riverside Elementary School
  • What do you want the people in charge of Oregon to know about how this sickness has changed your life?
    • It’s hard. It makes me sad. We can’t play with our friends, or go to parks or McDonald’s. It’s like the weekend but for a long time. I miss school. Doing homework at home isn’t much fun. I have to wear a mask and I wash my hands all day. Riverside Elementary School
  • How can we help each other be better during this time?
    • We can take care of everyone, and help others by doing things for them. We can call each other on the phone. We can try to stay healthy, not go to store, have cleaning stations everywhere. Wear a mask, I have spider man on my mask. Riverside Elementary School

First Grade

  • What is your favorite part of Distance Learning?
    • "nothing It’s hard to concentrate when I can be doing other things at home; my favorite part was doing the things on a computer it felt different from school because my teacher wasn't here; being home. not seeing the teachers every day;I would like to be in school but I also like being home to sleep in longer; my favorite part is epic reading and it felt different from school because there is not that many kids here; My favorite part about distance learning is being able to do Face Time with my class and being able to have more time to play at home. It felt different from school because i don't have a lot of work to do like i did in school and show and tell is also different because you have to put your show and tell in the camera so everyone can see it.; not in a classroom was different, my favorite part was I don't have to wake up early; Doing I-ready. And I like to turn on captions, but they're always wrong. I like doing the health videos.; We struggle with it at our house. My kids don’t think it’s serious when I’m enforcing it and it’s not coming from their teachers. It’s new and we will have to adjust to it.; using the chrome book. At school only have iPads.; Being able to assist ELL students in their homes in a one on one tutor model.; My favorite part of Distance Learning is the Google Meets. I like them because they are fun. I like the fun recesses I have at home. I like that my iReady is harder. That makes it more fun. Harder = more fun. It is different from school because I don't have to dress up. It is different because we have Google Meets now.; dont know. miss everyone at school; i don't like distance learning, I miss school and my teacher and friends. it is very different because I do not get to see any of my friends or my teacher." Highland Hills Elementary
    • I like being home to do my schoolwork.; More time to play outside. I miss my teacher and going to class. I miss the fun activities with the other kids.; I like seeing my teacher and classmates on Fridays. I miss seeing my teacher and friends at school.; I get to read more chapter books. I get to spend more time with my family.; I spent time learning with my momHighland Hills Elementary
    • Being able to sleep in and not have to get up so early. Not having my teachers being able to help me, but I have my computer to be able to see videos and stuff on. My favorite part was making a mothers and fathers day card. It was different because it was on a computer and i couldn't see my friends.; My favorite part of distance learning is P.E. Its different because we don't get to play much games at home. I can be with my family at the same time. It’s on the tablet and your mom and dad are the teachers. I didn't like distance learning. If I have to pick one thing it would be math. It's difference from regular school because it's harder and more complicated. We had a lot of trouble figuring out how to turn in assignments.I had more free time. It was hard to be away from my teacher. Highland Hills Elementary

Second Grade

  • What should Oregon’s leaders be learning from the Covid-19 crisis?
    • The second and third grade English Language Learning students at Grant Watts think that Oregon Leaders should be learning from the Covid-19 crisis "to stay home, wash their hands, and wear masks." Another student spoke about the stores and wanted people to "ration". "Everything at the store is gone." People should only get "1 toilet paper". "People are worried, shampoo, stuff from the store...don't buy it all!" One student said, "Staying home is rough, my family members help me. My mom gets frustrated and starts yelling." Another student said, "stay home, make sure not to [stand] close to each other, and wash their hands." The students were very engaged discussing this topic. Thank you for asking their opinions. Grant Watts Elementary School
  • How has your life changed because of school closures and the state’s response to Covid-19? Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?
    • We discussed Covid-19 during a career day study. We discussed, "What should Oregon's leaders be learning from the Covid-19 crisis? First of all, Kinders needed government, leaders and Covid-19 defined for them first. We discussed all of those words. Then they said government and leaders sounds to them like Grandparents telling you what to do. Then they thought people should just get a shot. People get shots to stay healthy. Then they said they missed the furniture most at school. They are tired of being at home and sitting on furniture that is too big for them. They also knew firefighters and police were outside and still working. They are also sad they will not be able to play with the Kindergarten toys next year, because they will be in first grade. These are not the answers I was expecting, but this is how Kindergarten English Language Learners feel. They don't seem to mind being at home, but the furniture issue was their biggest concern, being uncomfortable sitting on large furniture in their kitchens. Grant Watts Elementary School
    • How has your life been doing good sense COVID? *Great, get to spend more time with family *Okay, we have been able to manage since both parents are still working. *Cuddling my puppies has been good. *Because we've gotten to do painting and gardening together and playing with my dog. *good because it keeps us safe and a family with mom. *We have learned new skills such as problem-solving, independence, and asking for help. We have also learned new academic and life skills from our family members. It is nice to have flexible schedule. *Playing more, and eating food at home. More relaxing. *I get more sleep, I get to see my family more because I am not at school, I get to have fun at home in our pool and playing outside, I get to spend time doing work with my mom. *Kind of good kind of bad. My family is ok. I'm boring. I miss school. spending more time with my family. How has your life been doing bad sense COVID? *not good because we cant go to the pools or bouncy house *I cant stay home because my mom works in a hospital.  I am staying with my PaPa and NaNa *I don't get to see my friends from other classes. *Its been hard because i don't see my friends and not played with them *we can't get what we need *I don't get to see all my friends and my mom teaches different than my teacher *Different because at school it is easier to listen, learn from others, and the children feel more frustrated at home than at school. *School work at home kind of feels a lot harder. *We have been in for a long time. *We miss our friends from school. Missing end of the school year activities. *I miss my friends and teachers more than anything. *We can’t go shopping or to the park. Can’t see your friends. *we have not been playing sports. *I miss being at school seeing my teacher and friends. *School work is harder online and at home and I miss my friends *The homework is boring. I want to work at school. Not at home. *We dont get to play with friends. *We miss our teachers and friends. *We haven't been able to go out and do the things we normally get to do. Highland Hills Elementary

Third Grade

  • What feelings are you experiencing at this time? How are you coping? Where have you found support?
    • I am worried that next year I will be made to stay separated from my friends in class. That is too hard! I don't want to go to school. I want to be with my friends and play fun games. Games where we are separated are not fun. I miss the playground and playing tag with my friends. It is too hard to think about next year. Central Point School District
    • Amity School District
      • Celebrations of distance learning: - learning fractions - The outline and packets were easy to follow - I learned new things - art projects - science projects - videos helped - I finished my work. - My mom and dad helped me. - My grandparents helped me. - My aunt and uncle helped me. - I got to spend time with my family. - I got to see my friends during Google Meets. - I got to learn new things (art and crafts, rocks, cooking...) - My sisters helped me with my homework. - Teachers were always available - My teachers helped me - daily meets to see my friends 
      • Challenges during distance learning - missing friends and teachers - not getting to go on planned field trips - missing out on survival swim - missing out on rocket unit and launching - needing more help - It was not good because I was not with my teachers, you were not there to teach me, I just wanted to play. I need my teachers. - Not having help with my school work (mom and dad are at work until dinner time) - learning math - understanding things without teachers - the homework I had to do all the time - Google Meets (time, internet, access) - I miss going to school. - keeping up with my work - not having a teacher or classmates - distractions at home make it hard for me to learn - mom/dad is a terrible teacher - being confused - learning technology - technology updates 
      • Wishes/Needs I need someone to help me with my work. I want to go back to school. I need easier work or more help. I need more challenging work. I want to see my friends. Go back to school
  • Can you imagine ways we can better help each other?
    • Be kind. Think of others. Smile at people. Go to someone’s house and visit through an open window. We all have to use masks so we don't cough on people and make them sick. Nobody expected the crisis and nobody likes it. We need to all remember that everyone is going through the same thing and that even doing little things to help each other can be a big deal. Our neighbor gave us a bunch of toilet paper because we thought we were going to run out. They had a lot of it so it was not a big deal for them but it was a big deal for usRedwood Elementary School
  • What should Oregon’s leaders be learning from the Covid-19 crisis?
    • The second and third grade English Language Learning students at Grant Watts think that Oregon Leaders should be learning from the Covid-19 crisis "to stay home, wash their hands, and wear masks." Another student spoke about the stores and wanted people to "ration". "Everything at the store is gone." People should only get "1 toilet paper". "People are worried, shampoo, stuff from the store...don't buy it all!" One student said, "Staying home is rough, my family members help me. My mom gets frustrated and starts yelling." Another student said, "stay home, make sure not to [stand] close to each other, and wash their hands." The students were very engaged discussing this topic. Thank you for asking their opinions. Grant Watts Elementary School
    • I didn't get to see my friends and I missed hugging my teacher. It was really hard to be away from her and learn. My birthday was during the stay home and I didn't get to have a birthday party or see my family that doesn't live with me. I did get to spend lots of time with my mom and brother during the day and my daddy at night. We can't have friends over. We can't have anyone over. We have to learn stuff by ourselves on the computer. I don't get to go places. I want them to know that I don't like it. I miss school and I miss my friends. There are so many things that I missed out on because of this. I know that it isn't the leaders fault and they are just trying to keep everyone safe. I hope that this crisis will make them more prepared for if something big like this happens again. Redwood Elementary School 
  • How has your life changed because of school closures and the state’s response to Covid-19? Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?
    • When asking my 3rd grade students how their lives had changed and whether the changes were negative or positive, I received similar feedback from all. Students agreed that their lives had changed and that their families had been impacted in both negative and positive ways. When talking about the changes in their lives, I had students say things such as, "I can't go to the store with my parents anymore", "I can't go to school", "My life has been impacted by COVID-19 because I can't really do anything", "My family had to cancel our trips to the coast and to Disneyland", and "I can't spend time with my great grandpa and grandpa because of this." When discussing if there were both negative and positive aspects to this change, they agreed that there was both although they see more negative aspects than positive. The positive aspect they brought up was the amount of time they have been able to spend with family. I had one student say, "I get to spend a lot more time playing with my family, especially my dad who normally works a lot." On the other hand, they brought up multiple aspects that were negative, such as "I can't really learn at school or I can't really see my friends at school in person" and "People get bored and spend too much time on the screen." Highland Hills Elementary
    • "I am worried I am falling behind. I would explode if I had to do distance learning again next year. It's really hard for my family. We are still recovering from the flood and parents had to take time off work. Ready for it to be over. I had to spend my birthday in quarantine. I don't get to see my friends. It's hard to do distant learning because I want to do partner work to see how other people do the problem. Miss seeing friends. Had to spend my birthday in quarantine." "It's hard. My parents are not making enough money at work at the restaurant. Sports are closed and there's no toilet paper. Learning is a little easier because I have parents to help me learn. I can't participate in bowling league so I cry in the corner." "It's good, bad, and scary. I feel like I am a prisoner in my home now." "I am lonely." "I am missing indoor soccer. I am having a hard time getting motivated to do my school work from home." "My parents don't have enough money from work. It's hard to learn online." "I now have to have a schedule for my schoolwork. It's hard to do my work from home because there are so many people at home distracting me while learning." "It's been sad not being able to see people or go to school. Our vacation was canceled." Highland Hills Elementary
    • It was hard because my mommy had to work from home and teach and organize people and I was supposed to be learning from home too but if I didn't understand something I couldn't ask her right away. Sometimes my brother could help but he was doing school at home too. I did get lots of time outside to swing and plant flowers, so our yard looks nice. I haven't been to a store in a long time and it feels weird to ride in a car. I think I don't know how my friends are and when I will get to see them again. I miss hugs from people. My parents both were working but it did slow down my dad's work a little. And I miss eating in a restaurant. I don't wear masks and don't want to ever have to! We stay home as much as possible and I miss going out and doing things. I miss my nana and my papa too because they are old and have to be really careful so we haven't seen them much. I feel bad that my sister has to miss her 5th grade field trips and graduation. My parents had to change their work schedules so that they could make sure that someone was able to be home with us and help us get our work done. My step-dad goes to work at 6:00 in the morning and my mom stays home with us for the first part of the day, she still checks her e-mails and makes phone calls but she also does work with us. When my step-dad gets home in the afternoon my mom has to leave and she works however late she needs to to get her stuff done. I like spending time with her during the day but I don't like that she doesn't get to be home to eat dinner with us. I feel like I really shouldn’t be next to people because of covid gets over. Oregon should have prepared more. More distance between us at first. It was really hard at first doing school work at home, missing friends and teachers. Easier to do school work at school. Redwood Elementary School
  • What do you imagine could be different and perhaps, even better following this crisis? For your family? For your community? For Oregon? For the planet?
    • I gave my third graders an assignment to write a STORY about a girl or a boy who do something to make a DIFFERENCE during this time we are in. This was my first entry Saturday morning. I am thrilled. Talent Elementary School
      • "Jenny Saves the Day" Jenny walked down the stairs to hear the sound of her mother making breakfast. She sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. The theme song for NewsWatch12 came on and the news anchor started talking, "Breaking News: COVID - 19 is spreading fast. Experts are saying that schools and some businesses will be shutting down due to COVID - 19. Some homeless shelters will be shutting down, raising the number of people not having a place to go and leaving many without food." Jenny sat there listening to this and feeling sad. She looked over at her mom and said, "There must be something we can do!" That's when she had an idea. "I will help the homeless by making lots of food and handing it out." So Jenny did just that. With the help of her mom she cleaned the kitchen and put on her mask and made lots and lots of food. She made enchiladas, tamales, pozole, and chicken salad. She even went to the store to get fruit, such as oranges, apples, pears and bananas. She also bought lots of bottled water. She then put on her mask again and went around town passing the food out to the homeless. A few weeks later... "Breaking news: The COVID - 19 outbreak is at a new high. Almost all businesses are shut down. The few that are open are not getting many customers. On a lighter note, someone has been spreading a little bit of hope. A nine year old girl named Jenny Stones from Central Point, Oregon has been handing out food and water to the homeless population all over the Rogue Valley. She is a food superhero! If you're watching this, Jenny, be safe and keep doing what you're doing!" Jenny smiled at the TV as she heard this. Her mom turned to her and said, "You ARE a food super hero!" The End

Fourth Grade

  • What do you imagine could be different and perhaps, even better following this crisis? For your family? For your community? For Oregon? For the planet?
    • We have learned how to social distance, we should keep doing it. I miss school and my friends. Family seeing each other more than usual. Bored at home. Student submission from Highland Hills Elementary
  • How has your life changed because of school closures and the state’s response to Covid-19? Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?
    • Most of my students said the negatives were not seeing their friends and the positives were spending more time with their family. Below are some comments: "I liked that my birthday was on a weekday but I didn't have to go to school. I like that I can play video games on weekdays. During the school year I don't get to play them except for weekends. I also like that I get to spend more time with my family and camp in my trailer in our yard. I could barely go to the store and if I do I have to wear a facemask. As the day goes on I get more bored because I cant go outside. I help my dad put cement so my sister could play basketball." "It's changed because I don't get to see my friends or my relatives that don't live with us.  I don't get to go on trips.  These are the negative parts of it." Highland Hills Elementary
    • "Our family is staying home more. We eat together and watch TV together. We didn't used to do this very much. Everyone was busy at school and at practices. I really like that." "I really miss my friends and teacher at school. Sometimes my family gets really grouchy at each other and I wish I could have a break from them." "I do not like being at home by myself when my parents are working. I do a little bit of school and watch TV and play video games. It's boring. I fight with my sister a lot." "I am mad that we are not at school. I don't get to see my friends. I am stuck home with my sisters and brothers. I don't like doing school on the computer, it is harder for me. I have missed so many things like baseball, my family going on a vacation for Spring Break and getting to go to my Grandma's house to visit." "I like it ok. I just play a lot of video games!" "I like some parts being with my family but I really miss school and my friends and teacher." "All of this is stupid!" "I don't like being stuck at home and worrying about my mom who has to work." Highland Hills Elementary
    • Some students love staying home and not going to school.  Many are home alone with no guidance.  I did a Google Meets with students, some were jumping over couches, some were still in their pajamas, some were babysitting younger siblings.  Parental involvement seemed minimal during the period I was meeting with students. Even though these students seemed to love "early summer"  after visiting more with them. I think they truly miss school, teachers, friends, stability.  I think the situation they are in right now is going to get "old" for them.Other students are missing the structure, teachers, curriculum, school, and friends.  They want to come back to school and get into the routine and safety of the school atmosphere. Some said they miss learning and are concerned about their education. Highland Hills Elementary
    • That the school closure is a great way to spend time with family members, but on the other hand the Governor has put us in the lock down, and luckily our teachers and students are still able to do class work on meetings with the class. In my opinion, our Principal of Hillcrest did the right thing by making a distance learning website.They should be learning that it is sometimes hard for kids to do schoolwork without their teacher helping them and teaching them,  because they have to learn how to teach themselves how to do it.Positives: Students are still able to do school work from home. Some students have learned about the distance learning. Students and teachers are able to have meetings as a class. We get to spend time with our family at home. We get to do school from home on chromebooks, and workbooks. We get to play with our siblings. We get to play with our pets. We get to sleep in.Negatives: The news is making up scary stuff about covid-19, to scare people into thinking everybodys going to die!, The government put us in lock down when the flu has more deaths and people are scared of covid-19!, Lots of people are being to dramatic about coronavirus. We don’t get to go to school and have fun. We don’t get to see our friends. We don’t get to see our teacher. We don’t get to play outside during recess. We don’t get to go to the Library, or play at parksHow has your life changed?: We don’t get to go to school and we don’t get to play or hangout with our friends, and we don’t get to see our teacher and ask her for help on a math question unless we call, FaceTime or text them, so it is just difficult sometimes and it is weird. North Bend School District
  • What feelings are you experiencing at this time? How are you coping? Where have you found support?
    • *I'm feeling scared because I don't want my parents to get sick and my dad has Crone's Disease so he has to be careful *When I go to bed at night and then when I wake up in the morning, I think that it's time to go to school and then I remember I'm stuck at home and it's so sad. *I want to go back to school and I hope things can be normal again *I really want to see my friends and play sports and say good morning to my teacher but I like seeing Mrs. Rodgers on WebEx at least *Online school is really hard because I don't get to ask my teacher questions when I have them and then when I do I forget what my question was *I miss Morning Meetings and just talking and taking deep breaths *We really need to be in our classroom and I'm scared that it won't happen next year and I will have to start 5th grade online again *It was easier to read out loud because I wasn't embarrassed when it was just me and my mom reading at home and I think my reading is better now *We need to be around people and I feel bad about kids who eat breakfast and lunch at school because not everyone has money right now or a job *When I wake up in the middle of the night and I try to go back to sleep I think of all sorts of scary stuff about the coronavirus like my grandma getting sick but I feel bad because I want to go back to school so bad but she can't get sick *We learned about Human Rights in our class and that school is a privilege and I really believe it now and some of the stuff we've been reading is cool like the kid who would shave his dreadlocks because he was being discriminated *I hope the world doesn't get polluted again and that my family will still go on bike rides after COVID and I will like school again *The video Hindsight 2020 is what I think about all of this stuff and the riots are really scary but the march on Saturday was really cool *It's been really fun and also boring to play outside all of the time because it's not the same as playing at recess at school *I hope school isn't weird next year and we have to wear masks *All I want to do is line up outside our classroom after the bell rings *I hate school at home because my brother always fights with my mom about math but I have a tutor so it's a little easier for me at home *School is better now because I can take my time during the day and it's not so fast at home like it is at school. *I will never complain about school again *I'm really sad and mad because I finally got the teacher my sisters had and it's not fair and my teacher knew it so she asked me to write down why I'm so sad and then I felt better but it's still not the same *I miss dancing on Fridays because it's not the same on WebEx but my writing is so much better at home *Google Classroom won't load and it turns off randomly and I can't figure out how to turn in my assignments and I really don't like my iPad *My Mom said that next year there might not be normal school with recess or PE and there will be a weird schedule and that is not okay because I want to grow up normally *COVID has taught me to live my life better with my family and not to complain *I feel lonely sometimes and bored so I'll look at my posts on Seesaw and read Mrs. Rodgers comments and they make me laugh because she's funny *My sister is a senior and only my mom and dad and my brother could go to her graduation so it wasn't the same *My dad was sick a long time ago and he can't go back to work yet because he doesn't want to get the coronavirus and I'm scared we will run out of money *The birthday parade for Mrs. Rodgers was fun because she cried and I got to stand up in my car and also see my friends *I'm not learning the same at my house like when I was at school and I'm glad we didn't get grades because I work a lot harder at school and Mrs. Rodgers said it's because she's not my mom Bend LaPine School District
    • This has been horrible.  I miss my friends.  I don't like seeing everyone in masks.  I don't trust adults, but I want to.  Every adult saying something different.  Before this whole thing, I was even sad about friends not being kind at recess, mostly.  Maybe recess can be different after all of this.  Small groups with a teacher to help kids not cheat and be mean. Buckingham Elementary 
Fifth Grade
  • What do you imagine could be different and perhaps, even better following this crisis? For your family? For your community? For Oregon? For the planet?
    • During this time, being home they have appreciated being with family more. They are hoping that this will further research for a universal vaccine. They think that the media should be less involved to help avoid panic and fear, so that people don't hoard toilet paper. Future generations should be understanding of their educational circumstances. When this ends, kids should go to school longer, so that they can make up for what they missed. Going to school at home is not the same as being in a classroom. Highland Hills Elementary
  • What should be Oregon’s priorities during and following this crisis? What opportunities do you imagine?
    • Oregon should be more mindful of educating people on the importance of hygiene, and the importance of giving space to others. This pandemic has created more family time. It's given us an opportunity to slow down and look at what's important. Be prepared for the unexpected. Highland Hills Elementary
  • Can you imagine ways we can better help each other?
    • Do the right thing. Be kind and help out others. Wash your hands, cover your sneezes and coughs, wear a mask, and stay six feet apart. Give people masks, give people soap. Go easy on the toilet paper and other supplies. Riverside Elementary School
  • How has your life changed because of school closures and the state’s response to COVID-19? Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?
    • There has a been mix of both positive and negative changes.  Positives: Spending more time with family, Hopefully we'll be more prepared, Can work at your own pace; Negatives: More time online means more screen time, More confusion No socialization, Immune systems are down because people aren't going out Mental health taking a hit, People not working, less income, People in retirement homes not getting visited and socialization, Missing grandparents, Missing out on learning in person which is better" Highland Hills Elementary
    • We can’t go to school and we have to stay inside a lot and away from family and friends. It’s boring. I miss school and friends. Parents have lost jobs. We can’t have much fun. It makes some families lazy, but allows other families to have more time together. Riverside Elementary School
    • Our lives have really changed due to the state’s response to COVID-19.  We can’t go to school anymore and we really miss our friends and social connections.  We didn’t have all of our friends’ numbers so it’s hard to connect and be social.  Many of our parents have lost their jobs or can’t work right now.  Our parents are   home more and we are tired  of each other but  we also get to  spend more time together.   It’s difficult to get to the store and to navigate those places when we need to. There are a lot of new rules about how to behave that are tough to remember. Positive aspects are: Getting to connect more with parents and siblings, Meeting neighbors, More outside time to ride bikes  and scooters, More time to pursue hobbies and  interests, More time to communicate with extended family via phone/computer. There are fewer distractions for working at home than at school. Negative aspects are: We’re bored during the day, Too much time spent on screens, It’s hard to stay motivated, Parents have  lost jobs, We can’t socialize with friends. John McLoughlin Elementary School
  • What should Oregon’s leaders be learning from the Covid-19 crisis?
    • They should learn that because of COVID everything is different. It is hard being stuck at home and not able to see family, friends, or go to school and parks. Some kids think things shouldn’t have been shut down and rights taken away, others say everything should be shut down and only delivery of things. Several kids think Oregon should be a more outside place. Leaders should work hard to be prepared for things like this. Riverside Elementary School
  • What do you think learning could be like during and following this pandemic? What are ways your school or classroom could help you learn right now and in the next few years?
    • We could have more assignments. Assignments from our teachers are better than just doing programs like Kahn Academy or Reflex.  The videos from the teacher go more in depth and we can watch them over and over if we need to.  We like being more independent and getting to make our own schedule and work at our own pace.  Even when we go back to school we could still have all of our assignments listed in Google Classroom to help us see the schedule.  We could also use Google classroom for homework rather than having to keep track of papers.  Filpgrid is a technology we could use to practice our speeches. John McLoughlin Elementary School

Sixth Grade

  • Elevating Voices 6th grade social studies North Bend Middle School
    • How has your life changed because of school closures and the state’s response to COVID-19? Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?
      • We have had to cancel a lot of things and life doesn’t feel the same. I am SO BORED I go to daycare because of my little siblings. We can’t use our phone and I can’t do school work because the wifi is another school’s than mine and it blocks my computer so I can’t do any of my work until 6pm. I miss seeing my teachers and classmates even in our online meetings.  I'm more relaxed with less stress and I've just been doing my work. Well i have not got to see any of my friends for a month or two now, i cant see my grandparents because i am not allowed to, We can't go out to restaurants even though they could have done something else besides just shutting them down, there is no school and that just sucks well because ONE i can't see my friends and TWO i am in 6th grade going into 7th grade these are some of the most important years of my life and you just shut school down too. A lot of things have changed especially with  school. It's weird doing everything from home and sometimes it can get stressful. e had to cancel two upcoming performances,  and I don't know if we are going to end up being able to do them when this is over. My family life has not been impacted by the pandemic greatly, though, if anything was impacted, it was my social life. The last day of school for me, (May 13) was the same day my team and I were to go to the chess state tournament in Portland, but it had to be cancelled. Three days later, (Monday the 16th) I was to start Track and Field, a sport I was very much looking forward to. And although this all does sound bad, I am only thankful for the fact that I don't have coronavirus thanks to the actions took by the State to ensure the safety of myself and others. Talmadge Middle School
    • What do you imagine could be different and perhaps, even better following this crisis? For your family?  For your community? For Oregon? For the planet?
      • I mean we get more bored and it might start to get hot. so staying inside or not able to go anywhere might just be hard. People are still able to go out but in a restricted amount of people in one place. it will probably be weird when we start seeing people again and some people will still be scared and still trying not to leave the house much. What's really sad is that so many people have lost their jobs and businesses have even shut down so hopefully all those people can find good jobs. Not as much littering at social events. well I've been more caring and generous to my neighbors and water their gardens and suchThe planet has been getting better I think, but we will probably find a way to ruin it again. Talmadge Middle School
    • Are there both negative and positive aspects of the changes you have experienced since school closures?
      • One negative thing is we can’t have fun doing regular summer things and one good thing is environmental changes from this. I do believe there have been both positive and negative aspects due to this change. Just yesterday, I took a peak at my science journal and uncovered all the topics that were scheduled for discussion. When I asked my science teacher about them, she said that due to coronavirus we are only going to have time for one more topic, something I found rather sad because not only was I excited to learn about the other topics, my classmates and I are going to need that knowledge for next year, in 7th grade. Another down side I have thought up is communicating has become much harder. Sixth grade is the first year into a new school, a new life, but having coronavirus around puts that much more pressure on us. For people who take a while to open up to others, being this far into the year is a very important time for them considering they are really starting to trust and understand people, and now that coronavirus has come, it is likely that they are taking a step back from that and the process will just restart the next year. A final tragedy caused by coronavirus is the loss of jobs. I may not know much from a financial or political standpoint, but I know that some families really need the money right now, because of all the fluctuating prices. But even though these are bad things, I know that the actions taken by the State, like closing the schools and businesses, were the right thing to do before things got worse than what they already are. On a less depressing note, a positive to coronavirus is that families get to be together more. With the free time of the students and the time of work from the parents, families are closer now more than ever, and I truly am speaking from experience. Without the occurrence of coronavirus, I would have never had the time to participate in some of the stuff I have done lately like helping my father fix up an cottage we own and learn to make stuff like sweet tea and Mexican rice.Going along with what I said about the loss of jobs and the need for money, one positive that I could not express enough is that, through all of this, schools have opened to feed not just the students but the people of our community as well. This is such an amazing feat because 12.3% (1/8) families (according to the USDA) don't know where their next meal is coming from, but because schools provide breakfast and lunch, they are given the opportunity to feed the less fortunate. Well it is kind of hard to communicate with teachers and my classmates. But it also gives us time to do our work and pause. Yes. negative is constantly being at home and everything changing. The positive is that the planet is getting better. Well one NEGATIVE thing is i cant see my friends and one POSITIVE thing is we can see how strong our relationship is Another NEGATIVE thing is we cant see our teachers  and one positive thing is not as much school work but, I LOVE SCHOOL WORK AND MY TEACHER so this is all not cool. One positive is that I have played with my siblings a lot more and I have been able to play outside more. A negative is that I can't see my friends and I like regular school a lot better. we spend more time together and result in more arguments. Talmadge Middle School
    • What should Oregon’s leaders be learning from the COVID-19 crisis?
      • Well first of they should be listening to the people that don't have jobs and help them and they should have considered what would happen if they shut down every thing what that would do to the people of that community. The Oregon leaders should be learning that they made many many mistakes in this pandemic.That the pandemic is only a minor inconvenience compared to is what to come.The government of Oregon should focus on the less financially stable during this tragedy. This is important to focus on because the lower class is the most at risk for getting the coronavirus given that they have the least resources to prevent the spread. This is because people that make less money just cannot afford to pay for the bills that come from coronavirus, or at least they are too afraid that they may not be able to afford it. It is also because they cannot afford essential antiseptics, masks, and soaps to protect themselves. Following the crisis, I still believe we should be focusing on the lower class people of the community because it will be hard for them to just "bounce-back" from this. People in the middle class and high class will also have been affected, but unlike people in poverty, they have the proper supplies and resources to deal with it. Another reason Oregon's leaders have to focus there attention on the lower class is because of the loss of jobs. These people are already on the last of their savings, but with millions of Americans on unpaid leave, these lower class people are getting pushed further and further down because they cannot earn the money they need during the time they need it most. And even people not "laid off" have had to cut their hours if they cannot work from home, a luxury not most lower class people can afford. In conclusion, no matter how much the other classes suffer, the lower class with always suffer more which should make it the highest priority for all of us. Talmadge Middle School

Seventh Grade

  • What feelings are you experiencing at this time? How are you coping? Where have you found support? 
    • I wish coronavirus never happen. I liked online school but I want to go back to regular  school and I want to see my best friend. I don't want to wear a mask. I don't think I can wear onr. Also I have many different classes and some that are specialized. I might not get to take the classes I need. Worse, I might not be in class with my friend. I don't think I can do that!! It would be REALLY hard! My friend has been in almost all my classes except one. Having him there helped me. He isn't really good at math and takes a different math clsss. So I worry we will be in separate groups. I don't think I could handle that. Central Point School District
  • Can you imagine ways we can help each other better?
    • I can imagine a lot of ways that people can help each other. One of them is that everyone needs to listen to the states officials, even if you don't agree they are trying their hardest to keep us safe and healthy. People need to listen to guidelines, wear a mask in stores LISTEN to what you need to do and do it. People are saying that we should open up, but if you open up all at once like some states did, then we would have a giant spike in cases and it would be even longer in lock down than it is right now. People should cheer each other up, not tear each other down during this crisis, people need all the support that they can get, even if it's bringing flowers to your neighbor, that could make their day. So people should listen, if officials tell you don't go outside without a mask, you don't walk around town with no mask on. North Bend Middle School
  • How has your life changed or your family been impacted by the state’s response to COVID-19 (schools and businesses closing, facial coverings, staying home, etc.)?
    • Bend International School
      • May 4 Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change? Yes, there are many negative things someone could see really easily. However, if you look a little deeper, then you can see not just the bad things. So, here are 3 good things from my "good things" perspective. 1) This is a great time to send with your family. 2) You have more "free time" so you can do more things like go on walks, do some diy, get thoughts projects you need to finish done. 3) I love animals, but I haven't been able to spend much time with my chickens, so, I have been able to have them as my friends, and it's nice to hangout with someone who doesn't judge me. Maybe this small list will let you see more good, and you could try some of these things, if you haven't already.
      • May 9 Negative about quarantine: -People have lost their jobs. My mom has friends who have lost work or had to close their business -Because people are having to stay home, some people are feeling more depressed and anxious. -People aren't getting enough fresh air and sunshine and movement. They might get lazy. -Some parents still have to work and take care of their kids...Positive about quarantine: -Because humans aren't outside so much, animals are out more and nature is happy! -Maybe the virus isn't spreading so much if people aren't hanging out in big groups? -There's more time to think about things instead of rushing around
      • May 5 There are both negative and positive ways to see what's happening, it's really just in the eyes of the beholder. There is the very obvious negative side, a new learning environment, No work, Being sick, lack of necessities, not seeing friends and family, Those are all horrible things I must agree. But how will we get through this if we only see the bad? The good may be a bit hidden behind all of the darkness that's going around but it's there. Look at Venice! Their infamously dirty canals are now thriving with wild life that haven't been seen there for ages. Litter has surely gone down, helping our oceans. People are getting out more, planting gardens, doing things they'd usually blow off and say, "I don't have time." At the same time this is terrifying, this is also very uniting. We are all people, no matter where you live or who you worship and we're all scared. There has also been a drop in air pollution! Recently, when they compared air pollution levels of nitrogen dioxide levels, they found a huge drop. Another great positive is the elderly are being cared for, and are much more on our radar now that they're the ones who suffer the most, putting us in a much friendlier environment. And one of my favorite positives, the people who take care of day to day like cashiers and nurses are getting much more recognition for the same work. In conclusion, as devastating as this is, there is positives and you need to see them to get through this.
      • May 13 My life was changed a lot once all this started happening. I always used to hang out with my friends and go out and stuff like that but know because of the pandemic, I can't do too much of that now. Something positive is that for some reason I have been outside a lot more. Having to do online school has been a real trouble for me, it is hard for me to keep up with work. All of this staying at home is really stupid to me, the government is making rules that don't make sense. Why did they make us pump our own gas, that is just way more people touching
      • May 5 Are there positive and negitive aspects to this change? I belive so, one positive thing is he online learning, i like it better. I also have bein more motavated to do my work. So i think online schooling might be a positive for me. there is a long list of bad thing and i will share the worst with you. because of the quarantine lots of small businesses will be closing down. that will affect so many peoples lives. so all in all there are few good thing and LOTS of bad things.
    • Weird. Lonely. Sad. Boring. Some say life hasn’t changed, while others say it’s put a lot of stress on families who are out of work and having to stay home all the time. Most kids agree distance learning is hard and they miss being in school where they can better understand the curriculum and socialize. They miss seeing friends, and family. Some families are getting to spend a lot more time together and say the virus has brought them closer together. South Middle School
  • What should Oregon’s leaders be learning from the COVID-19 crisis?
    • We want our leaders to keep this at the center of what they do, as they navigate and make choices for Oregon's future through this crises: We must ask ourselves, what do we want to get out of this? We have the choice to choose whether to go through this uncertain time with an open heart, receiving others with compassion and grace, or we can isolate ourselves in fear. Our world can be changed for better or for worse because people are suffering. The economy is uncertain and appears shattered. People are losing loved ones to a virus that is affecting the entire world. This is hard for every single one of us. But this isn’t all bad. It’s an opportunity for change in our schools, our family lives, and our planet. We have a chance to try something different, and we should take advantage of that. We must remember that we are all in this together. Times are hard, but throughout history humans have powered through all kinds of challenges, all the while learning and discovering along the way. If we all play a part, and we all join hands, we can reach success. Because this coronavirus is pushing us to rely on the things that matter most; the things that a virus will never take away. We have to ask ourselves, if this experience will help us grow, or if the fear will suffocate our joy and take away the empathy we have for others. Yes this is painful, but we can come out of this fire stronger. It is the mindset we possess and the heart for those that are struggling that will carry us out of this. Mrs. Schneiter’ 3rd Period Language Arts Class, Linus Pauling Middle School
    • Be better prepared. Keep hospitals stocked with supplies. Keep everyone safe. Focus on what caused the virus and focus on finding a cure. Be careful about information that is shared on the news. We need to take more sanitizing precautions in schools and in the work place. While some agree things should be closed up, others say a rural area and a city like Portland shouldn’t be held to the same orders. Not all want to hide inside. The economy is being destroyed by the decisions being made. South Middle School
  • Miscellaneous Submissions
    • My teachers I feel are doing a decent job. Some things that would have been helpful would have been more coordination between teachers because some days I have multiple meets at a time. There is also low attendance to meeting because teachers are saying that they re optional instead of saying that you should come to a meeting if you are able to. Another thing that would have been helpful is if there was a solid day/time when teachers we posting assignments. It has been hard because some days I will not see an assessment because it is posted at a random time of day. On other days it will be Monday morning just before 10:00 and I have no assignments. Robert Gray Middle School
    • Dear Oregon leaders, We need to learn quickly from this crisis, in order to transform what we learned into a new vision and roadmap for the future! Oregon's priorities should be to keep their residents safe and healthy. We need to be able to prepare for any future pandemics. We need to care for our people, and ensure they have access to the basic needs of life.   Put into action safety and protection for homeless people, like having affordable and stable housing!   Make sure that people get the tools they need to thrive, like money, and food, now and in the future.    Get the economy going again, even if that means pumping money into the local businesses or forgiving loans to try to get companies back (economically) to where they were pre-pandemic. We should also prioritize learning about how this impacts different groups, in order to better support the needs of all Oregonians now and in the future, regardless of age, race or class. Going forward we should be better equipped to face these new realities and disruptions in everyday life, so as to minimize the chaos that comes from new abrupt changes. We should analyze what happens in remote learning and how to improve it, so that if something happens again students will continue their learning.  We should put education first and have stable and equitable funding for schools.  Provide the hospitals with more funding and equipment.  And leaders should be closely watching what is working, and what isn't working during this pandemic, so they can better be prepared for the next emergency, whether it is global or very local (due to mother nature) or some other unexpected thing. Give people a voice and listen to their needs and ideas to promote stronger, healthier communities.  As we move forward in planning our vision for the future, LISTEN to young people because we are the ones that can save the world! Sincerely, Mrs. Siegfried's 7th Graders @ Ockley Green
    • Can you imagine ways to better help each other?
      • Wash our hands and stay home. Follow the rules. Help others and take only what you need. Be kind. Be compassionate. Check in on people. Be a good listener. Be willing to help people in need, get them groceries, leave medicine on their doorstep, bring food to the food bank. Open businesses, but maybe limit people and have at-risk groups wear masks. Let people deicide what is best for themselves and their own family. South Middle School

Eighth Grade

  • What should Oregon’s leaders be learning from the COVID-19 crisis?
    • One student suggested that we should have started social distancing sooner, and we could have prevented the virus from spreading in the beginning. Some students really like, and are successful with online distance learning, while others do not like working on a computer all day and said that they would rather do their work on paper. Another student noted that it was hard to motivate themselves to complete school work outside of the traditional school setting. It was also suggested that if a situation like this arises in the future, that students would like ways to have social interactions with one another. Another good idea that came out of our discussion was that students thought some advanced training for this kind of situation could be helpful. What they mean by this is that teachers should use some of these distance learning tools in the regular classroom. Then if a situation like this arises again, the students and staff would be more prepared for distance learning. Finally, a student who has an IEP suggested that more one-on-one help would be useful. Creswell Middle School
  • What do you think learning could be like during and following this pandemic? What are ways your school or classroom could help you learn right now and in the next few years?
    • Clear Creek Middle School 
        • I feel like learning during this pandemic could probably be seen as not giving students too much work to do because from my experience looking at multiple assignments from 8 classes that have totally different objectives could get overwhelming and stressful which put a lot of pressure on students without knowing what might be going on at home that school could be too much for a student.learning after the pandemic should be back to how it is as school will start again and students will go from class to class I feel like that will be more simpler than just continuously getting piled with work from home, there will be the opportunity to be surrounded by people that can help you with work which could relieve some stress knowing that there are people that can help out instead of being surrounded by family member that might not be helpful or may even add more stress on your back/plate along with school assignments.
        • I think learning could be sorta stressful after the pandemic because I have so far gotten used to waking up at my own schedule and figuring things out on my own. I think more interaction with my teachers would give me more to look forward to during this pandemic. More mental and emotional education would be something we need to learn more about in the future.
        • I think it will be hard fro classes to get everyone to the same learning point for the next couple years. I feel like having more time to talk to the teachers would help. Within the next couple years I feel like they should go over the stuff we are learning now to make sure that everyone gets it.
        • I think learning will be hard to get back into because we've spent most of our days looking at a screen to do our work so transferring from that to having to read off a paper and focus might be somewhat different. Everyone's sleep schedules also will probably be messed up so it will be difficult for students to undo that. I think teachers are doing their best in order to help their students during this time but maybe giving some extra explanations for students who are struggling on homework or giving assignments that don't take a very long time or over an hour to complete would be helpful.
        • I think learning during the pandemic could be mainly based online, with some requiring you to go outside, but never to place yourself at risk of infection. After this pandemic, I think that more online schools will begin to exist, as more kids would have learned how to proceed and survive in the Online Education System. Schools could help us learn by allowing us to do more inventive and easily accessible activities, that don't require use of home necessities. In the next few years, I think that we will begin to thrive online, with more students wanting to use online school, with their new found knowledge of how to use a computer and google classroom properly.
        • I think, people should be a lot smarter by taking this situation more serious. Being careful and not take everything for granted. We are so used, to the freedom of this country.
        • My school can help is not assign difficult assignments. Yes, I know we have school work to do but I don't think some of you understand how stressful this can be on the students. But, you can have instructions for parents so they can understand more and how to help their child on a specific assignment. I don't have any idea how learning is going to be after this pandemic. Maybe it'll be more different from now. No class rooms? In a few years, school might just be online which I'm not going to be happy about.
        • Learning online has had its challenges. I would like to go back to school as soon as this pandemic is over. My school can help me learn by being patient as we all try to adapt during this challenging time.
    • The Cottonwood School
      • When we're back at school next year, students would like to see more flexibility in their learning and their schedules. They hope for more independence, less structured time, more opportunities to take walks and breaks when needed.
  • How has your life changed because of school closures and the state’s response to Covid-19? Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?
    • "Yes there are both positive and negative aspects to this change.  The positive things are that we are home safe with our families.  The negative things are that we are not able to go to school and interact with people." Logos Public Charter School
    • Bend International School
      • May 11: Online school has been a struggle for me, since I can't plan one on one meets because I'm always busy with something, like chores, or going on family walks. I don't like not being able to see friends or family. My family has been really cautious, and it's kind of annoying being stuck at home with them. We can't bake often. We did bake a batch of brownies yesterday for mother's day, but they were gone as fast as they were done. My mom is doing online school a lot of the time since she is trying to get a degree in college. My mom has to go to the grocery store a lot because we have five people to feed. We play video games occasionally. I'm just in my room, drawing or reading, possibly listening to music. In general, this pandemic has affected my life negetivily.
      • May 4: There are negative and positive aspects because of course people are dying and getting infected but the quarantine ha also cut down on pollution and is letting national park wildlife thrive. My life has changed in the way that everyday life is like the weekend and i'm losing track of what day it is or what month and with quarantine my mom has been working from home and my dad has been working at whole foods and bringing the risk of infection to the whole family. 
      • May 4: How has your life changed or your family been impacted by the state’s response to COVID-19? My life, and the others around me have been changed quite a bit. To start, I can't go to school, see my community, or do an away from home social activities. I have mostly been keeping myself pretty busy in the pandemic, which surprises me. If I were to think of being locked up in my house for ages a few months ago, I would think I would be going insane. "Nothing to do, nothing to do". My daily routine varies a bit. Today I washed the car, but yesterday I played lots of video games. There are a few things I do everyday, ride my bike, do online school, and lots of sleeping. I really hope this pandemic ends soon, no one likes it.
      • May 11:There are pros and cons about this pandemic. A con is that people are dying, of course. But a pro is that the world is getting better. For an example climate change is decreasing. And huge bodys of water are getting healthier like rivers lakes and the ocean.
      • May 10: Answering the question of What do I imagine could be different and perhaps, even better following this crisis? For your family? For your community? For Oregon? For the planet?This pandemic although has caused many inconveniences and created many hardships, it has done some good. An example is that because many people are now stuck at home and are driving far less than before air quality has improved. Also global temperatures are dropping as cars and factories, which are a large cause of global warming have shut down decreasing the global temperature. I think after the pandemic people will feel more accustomed to working at home and many people will probably like the option to work from home creating less traffic and less pollution.
      • May 9: Answering the question, “Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?” Yes, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of death, fear and confusion throughout the world. But in my opinion it has brought many families closer together than ever before. It has also made us students more responsible in school because of the flexible system. And has made the great leaders in our communities heard.

Ninth Grade

  • How has your life changed because of school closures and the state’s response to Covid-19? Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?
    • My life has changed because interaction with people that I usually see everyday are not happening. This in a negative impact of the crisis because I miss my friends and teachers. A possible positive impact is that families are interacting more and connecting on a new level. Another negative aspect of the crisis is obviously that it could be deadly and many losses have been experienced. But also, no one knows what's next or how this will effect future activities and school. No one knows if this could be the new norm or if we are close to stopping the virus. It is scary because we dont know much about this virus and it is effecting people all around the world. Willamette High School
  • Westview High School
    • What should be Oregon’s priorities during and following this crisis? What opportunities do you imagine?
      • During this pandemic, the differences in economic classes have become rather drastic. Fortunate people, with stable jobs and houses and health insurance, are more or less doing fine in this crisis. Those less well off- who might have been laid off but were living paycheck to paycheck, might not have a house to isolate in, or don’t have access to running water to wash their hands- are very obviously suffering right now. While the contrast has always existed, it has been spotlighted because not being able to get to a hospital could easily mean the difference between life and death for so many people. Now, more than ever, is the time for Oregon to work on helping people that don’t have the necessities to survive this pandemic. It is crucial right now that Oregon steps up to ensure that all of us are able to stay safe and healthy.
    • What do you imagine could be different and perhaps, even better following this crisis? For your family?  For your community? For Oregon? For the planet?
      • We believe that after the events of Covid 19, and seeing the positive impact on the environment, we should look further into helping the planet. Understanding the world around us helps us realize the problems that we are dealing with and motivates us to take actions to stop it.
    • We believe that we as a community need to be more aware of racial injustice. In order to see a change, we need to use our voices to be heard, not to stay silent. In order to combat these injustices, Oregon must close the gap in racial and economic inequalities. To start, officials in Oregon must be aware of prejudice in police brutality and change the policy so they are not centered around violence. We learned from a young age that violence is never the answer. So why do the police resort to it? Police are trained to shoot a gun, but not to deescalate a situation. We also believe that everyone needs the necessities to survive. Oregon must find a way to bring true equality of opportunity into action for everyone, no matter your skin color. Officials must give struggling families who have been trapped in poverty due to systemic racism, the proper chances to escape it. We need change.

  • Miscellaneous Submissions
    • Logos Charter School
      • Title: Physically Isolated, Always Connected Tiny sparks of energy, Towers helping us send them. Sending faces, Voices, Ideas. Same face as physical. Eyes made of glass not flesh. Ears made of plastic not skin. Mind made of wires, same as my mind. Fighting tiny robots, Fighting for our lives, For everyone’s life. The heros, The ones who heal, Who support, Who Survive. Endure the pain, Pain of waiting. Someone did so for me. It’s my turn now. The first war, Where winning means not dying.
      • Having people around me who show unconditional love and support is what gives me happiness through all times, this includes friends and family. This time will be a lot more impactful on people who are alone or who are stuck at home in a bad home situation. Not having good people surrounding you can make you feel alone or stuck, and many people don't have anyone to talk to right now. This time has shown me how truly lucky I am to have such loving and supportive people surrounding me not only in my settings outside of the home but also inside of the home. Being stuck at home with more free time has given me the chance to become more mindful of others and learn to express more gratitude on a more regular basis.

Tenth Grade

  • What should Oregon’s leaders be learning from the COVID-19 crisis?
    • Willamette High School
      • I personally am very unsuccessful with the distance learning and am missing 28 assignments because I can not find the motivation to do anything.
      • In as far as I've seen, both from myself and my peers, this has been a very difficult time to actually maintain motivation and continue learning. I suggest, possibly, that we lower the standards required to get a high school diploma, at least when it comes to credits, because these may be very difficult to achieve, right now and even after the pandemic. More than ever, our curriculum from this portion of the semester will have to be retaught with our other curriculum next year, which may make it harder on both the teachers and the students next year. Lightening the load for all of us would be wonderful. P.s. you don't pay our teachers a significant living wage, if you can please do.
      • Oregon leaders in the Department of education and in the school districts should learn to be prepared in response to crisis. They should have had plans for distance learning or alternative education just in case they needed them. You guys could have started education sooner and better. 
  • What feelings are you experiencing at this time? How are you coping? Where have you found support?
    • nervous about going back to campus because of germs Willamette High School
    • Not experiencing too much struggling to do distant learning. Keeping myself busy with school and work. Willamette High School
  • What do you imagine could be different and perhaps, even better following this crisis? For your family?  For your community? For Oregon? For the planet?
    • Health Guidelines should connect with an ongoing lifestyle. Take care of how we interact with the environment, Conscious of Healthy Living. Now that we are experiencing what it is like, everyone is inside and hoping something good will happen. For USA versus other countries, we are more resistant to these rules and it effects problems for the planet. People should unite (6ft apart) to find comfort and a solution during this. This is a learning experience for everybody and it is history being made. We just hope for the best. Something that could be different following this could be unity. There is a lot involved in this and it could be different than it actually is. For community - education should exclude false information that could lead to more panic. People are changing their perspective and relying on each other. People are reaching out beyond their own little bubble, like neighbors talking to each other for the first time, people taking groceries to the elderly who cannot be outside. More care & compassion arising. One lasting impact could be the general care and concern from the people around you. There are so many things that are changed: Economy, Climate Change Disasters, Wildlife returning, Rivers getting cleaner, Education includes laptop and internet connection for all students in Salem-Keizer, - We can do amazing things. Every student has become an individual with a home and with a family - Teachers are connecting and asking about the “whole student” versus education, expressing true care. People are seeing their instructors for the first time in their homes. Mutual humanity and individuality. THEMES: Kindness, Comfort, Behavior, Unity, Recognition of people who have been working. Increasing Individuality. Early College High School
  • What do you think learning could be like during and following this pandemic? What are ways your school or classroom could help you learn right now and in the next few years?
    • During the pandemic, I felt that it was hard to get work done, and I really wish that I could have got more social support during this distance learning period. I worry the pandemic will still be going on in the fall, and that I will be in a much larger classroom. Getting more free periods at school would help me get one-on-one support. Willamette High School
  • Miscellaneous Submissions
    • Hi! I am a sophomore at Vale High School. I’m a part of the volleyball and track teams. My first track season was cut short due to the restrictions placed upon schools and their athletic programs in the spring. I was very excited for that season but I understand why it had to be canceled. Now however, as we enter into the summertime, I’m confused as to why we can’t have team activities. Not only is it necessary for us to workout and practice our skills over the summer to be prepared for the season, the interaction with our friends is beneficial to our mental health. After spending these past months social distancing I am longing for more normalcy and hope of sports/school in this upcoming school year. I’m only going to be a sophomore, but think about taking away the senior seasons of some of these students. The 2020 class already had to experience their prom, spring sports, and typical graduation be torn from their grasp and memories. Imagine doing the same to this upcoming senior group. Their chances of achieving scholarships for sports will be taken away. Their goals, passions, and hopes will be unreachable without school, sports, and clubs. I know that I have so many goals I want to accomplish my sophomore year. These last few months have been pretty hard on me. My grandfather passed away in an industrial accident. We had a drive-thru around my grandma's house where people could pay their respects; more than 250 cars drove by. We could only have so many people at the burial and the casket couldn’t be opened. It was devastating that we couldn’t give him a proper funeral. We were hoping to have a celebration of life for him this summer, but the way the phases are going I am almost sure we will have to next year. Also, Idaho has “okayed” the action to have sports and reopen schools; we are merely 30 minutes away from fruitland and an hour or so from Boise. Why is it that we can’t have sports? Having volleyball brought me out of my comfort zone, it helped me become more of a leader and less afraid of failure. I don’t know what I will do if it is taken away. My father is the head football coach and he cares dearly about his players and their well being. He is also wanting a season for his boys. Mainly, we are desiring our lives to finally reach a new normal. No more waiting around or wishing for things to be the way they were. I know that life will never quite be what it used to be like, however, we can move forward and not stay in the same spot. Vale High School

Eleventh Grade

  • What should Oregon’s leaders be learning from the COVID-19 crisis?
    • The main lessons that ODE should take away from this time would be to: have a better plan in place for emergency situations and actually do something for the mental health of students other than just say that mental health is a priority. Students felt that the response took a long time and then was just a lot of words without much action behind them. Students did appreciate how much their individual teachers did to check up on how students were coping, and they wish that classes were smaller so that teachers could continue to have those sorts of personal relationships in the future. Students did appreciate the overall sense of community and how people came together, as well as the businesses that worked hard to ensure equitable access for all to the services that remained available (with the exception of unemployment services, but that is not part of this conversation). Ultimately, there was nothing that students who participated in this discussion liked, or would hope to keep, about distance learning for all. It is the school environment that motivates students, and the home environment does not inspire the same way schools do, so making sure that schools are open in the fall needs to be a priority. Sam Barlow High School
    • I have struggled since 6th grade with depression and anxiety. The only ways I have been able to cope have been through school and choir. Being part of the OCHS Choir department has truly been life-saving. I don't know if I would have been writing this right now if it wasn't for my choral director and her department. Being at home doing distance learning has been hard on any student I have talked to. It has been especially hard on me since I am the oldest of 5 kids and my mom lost her job during this pandemic. My mental health has seriously gone downhill and the only thing that has kept me motivated is being able to zoom with my classes. I am a senior next year, which means it is my last chance to take part in the high school experience. Knowing that there is a chance that my whole senior year or a decent chunk of it could be at home is very scary. I feel like ODE and CDC need to work together to come up with a plan where students can go back safely even if it's for half days or we have to stay with our homeroom teacher the whole day and do online school that way. There are so many students who escape from their homes by going to school and they are now stuck in those toxic homes where they are struggling more than anyone realizes. They need a place to get out and to breathe again without the stress of their home beating down on them 24/7. Students thrive in settings where they are with their peers and teachers. I know this pandemic is dangerous and scary, but think about what you are taking away from your students if you keep us at our homes next school year. Think about the teachers, who miss their students terribly and would do anything to be with them again. Think about the parents who can't find child care so they can't go to work right now or they do but they have to leave their kids at home all day when they aren't old enough. Every single person is being affected by this pandemic, and it's the thought of "normalcy" coming back that has kept us all going. Think about all of this, before choosing to keep us home next school year. Oregon City High School
    • Willamette High School
      • I personally am very unsuccessful with the distance learning and am missing 28 assignments because I can not find the motivation to do anything.
      • In as far as I've seen, both from myself and my peers, this has been a very difficult time to actually maintain motivation and continue learning. I suggest, possibly, that we lower the standards required to get a high school diploma, at least when it comes to credits, because these may be very difficult to achieve, right now and even after the pandemic. More than ever, our curriculum from this portion of the semester will have to be retaught with our other curriculum next year, which may make it harder on both the teachers and the students next year. Lightening the load for all of us would be wonderful. P.s. you don't pay our teachers a significant living wage, if you can please do.
    • This last end of the school year was very difficult for me. Personally I don’t learn super well over the computer and listening to mindless lectures. My mental health was not the best during these times because I was unable to have the support of my friends and teachers to help me through the rough spots. My life has changed because I get less exercise, with the lack of athletics and Pe and I am less motivated to do stuff throughout the day.  My grades were lower than they have ever been. I am writing to plea to you to allow us to go back to school in a normal capacity and to allow us to have activities and athletics again. Thank you for your time and  for listening Sanitam Christian
  • How has your life changed because of school closures and the state’s response to COVID-19? Are there both negative and positive aspects of this change?
    • I feel less stressed about being able to complete my work on time, I am able to have a week to complete everything and it’s easier for me to communicate with my teachers 1 on 1. Willamette High School 
  • How can we transform what we have learned as we face the challenges of COVID-19 into a new vision and roadmap for the future? How do we want to live and learn in the years ahead?
    • We believe the greatest problem right now in relation to education is the loss of in-person interaction. It is valuable to have school in person because you learn not only from the educational system but also to learn by seeing through others’ perspectives. It gives motivation and develops the student intellect. When you are surrounded by other students, you learn from them by talking to them and hearing about their own experiences. In school over zoom, we losethat ability to learn from not just the teacher but our peers. Having school allows students, especially younger students’, to develop their social skills. Kids learn how to share and resolve conflict with other kids. If kids aren’t surrounded by other kids at school, their social skills will suffer. Without a cure for covid-19, it is unwise to meet in person. With school being from home now, we need to teach kids to be resilient. In order for kids to develop the social skills they would gain from being in school, discussion between students has to be present in school. Kids may also communicate with their friends through letters or talk to people over the phone in orderto have some kind of conversation. We also need to teach kids that their focus should be to be part of the solution to the problem, that they should not treat themselves as the victim of the situation. Kids should be taught not to focus on the problem but rather to help the situation, so that they can eventually be able to socialize normally again. Portland Adventist Academy
  • What feelings are you experiencing at this time? How are you coping? Where have you found support?
    • "The stay at home orders have made content-driven learning very difficult. The true learning has come in figuring out how to stay healthy, positive and in managing relationships at home-" "Students need teachers and a place to learn outside of our houses. Where I live I can't even find a place to do work. I am not going to pass my classes this term-" "I didn't realize how much my school helps me live a better life. I miss school lunches and seeing people who are in a good mood-" "I never wanted to be a home school student, that's what this is like. I can't believe we have to have prom on zoom, like that makes up for all of this-" "We miss our teachers!" "I am so excited for fall classes and to go back to normal. I feel like summer started early and I will be ready for classes in August-" "People need other people to help them learn. This is depressing." "I'm an introvert so I am coping. I'm tired of my family though." "I love my school and I really miss everyone-" "I'm like most of our students, I go to this school because the mainstream didn't work for me. Network is the most positive schooling experience I've had and I want to go back to class." "I will never complain about going to school again-" "Math is way too hard without my teacher-" "I feel like we should all get a pass on this last quarter of school. I can't learn this way and I want to be able to pass Essential Skills tests to graduate-" "My dad said I will have to do my 10th grade year again and that I should just stop worrying about it. I don't understand most of the work I'm doing right now and my teachers said I should just do my best. Okay, but I still need to learn-" Network Charter School- HeartWise Community MO
  • What do you think learning could be like during and following this pandemic? What are ways your school or classroom could help you learn right now and in the next few years?
    • I am going into my senior year at Crescent Valley High School in the Corvallis School District. After the approximately three months of distance learning from March to June of 2020, during which my teachers gave no live lessons, I realized that I do not learn well without connection. The class that I learned the most in was my class where the teacher allowed us to email her at any time with questions, then gave 30 minute classes every other day, encouraging us to delve deeper into the material. (These sessions weren’t lessons since we did not cover new material and the majority of the class did not attend them). In the class I struggled the most to engage with, I was required to finish a checklist of tasks each week. It included no live instruction or interaction. In a classroom, the interaction of asking deeper questions about the material and answering questions that a teacher proposes keeps me engaged in my education. I am a top student at my school – I have all A’s and take multiple honors and AP classes – and I love to learn, but I learned that I need more than the material to keep me engaged. This year, my school district is planning on offering both a hybrid model and an online model. I wanted to do the hybrid model because it allows me to interact with the material as it is being taught in the traditional way, but out of fear for the safety of my grandma and the safety of my family as a whole, my family has chosen to pursue the online option as there is currently no plan to have a mask mandate in schools. Because of this, I am scared that I will not be able to participate in complex classroom discussions with my peers and teachers this year as I have in past years. Those interactions are what make school meaningful to me and keep me engaged. Also, while I know that I am privileged to have this concern, I am sad that I will be experiencing my senior year through the internet. I don’t want to graduate high school without seeing my classmates again. At my school, senior year is full of rituals that we will never get to experience again. I hope that the school district finds ways to create safe versions of these rituals and requires masks at all times so that everyone can enjoy them. In addition to this, I suffer from anxiety. During distance learning, I felt at my best when I got to interact with my teachers, especially the teacher who took time out of class to ask how we were doing. Once classes stopped, my mental health state went down as I felt alone and less motivated. Connection is important in every human’s life, but it is particularly important in the lives of teenagers. Going forward, school plans need to consider this and provide ways for students to contact each other if they don’t already have those channels set up. Finally, for the online option in the Corvallis School District, as of July 17, 2020, classes will be converted from year-long to semester-long courses and they will use curriculums designed for online. I am concerned at how this will impact the rigorousness of the classes, especially AP courses which, even as year-long classes, proceed at rapid rates and have a curriculum that is controlled by CollegeBoard. Crescent Valley HS
    • i think what we are doing now is fine now but they should not think of opening the school back up until they find a cure for this pandemic because until then i do not feel safe around people. my family was the first to react to the news of an outbreak and nobody ells left school until they closed it. Siuslaw High School
  • What should Oregon’s leaders be learning from the COVID-19 crisis?
    • There needs to be remote learning programs in place to allow students to do work from home for school closures such as this pandemic, snow days, etc., that allow students to continue their current studies at the level they were and still get full credit and a letter grade. Private schools and colleges have the means to provide this and the public school system is failing students by not offering this and having a plan. It is destroying our future for college credit and more. The fact that I had all As and one B with college level courses going into this pandemic and now I’m getting a pass/no pass like students who had Cs and Ds is unacceptable. You create an environment where students stop trying and stop caring because they can pass by doing less since they don’t get a letter grade. You’ve failed students in the K-12 public school system and I hope you figure out how to handle this next school year where it doesn’t happen again. There are too many schools offering online education to have the Oregon School System not know how to do this and implement. Willamette High School
    • In the upcoming school year, I believe that it is vital that students go back to school in a regular fashion. I am a focused student and dedicated learner and value my experience and education that is delivered at Lakeridge. Like many of my classmates at Lakeridge, I have high goals for college and my future, goals that can only be achieved with a high-value education. If we do not go to school in the fall, my future, as well as many others', will be jeopardized. Attending Lakeridge has been a great experience, and I am confident in the school's ability to prepare me for college. However, Lakeridge will only be able to prepare me for the next steps in life if school returns to a normal schedule. Personally, my goal is to play lacrosse at the Naval Academy, and I believe that this is within my ability. The problem, however, is that if my school is unable to meet Governor Brown's ridiculous mandates we will have to continue with online learning while private schools such as Jesuit and OES will be able to return to school in a normal fashion. If private schools around the country return to school, and public schools do not make a comeback, I will be at a considerable disadvantage when applying to the Naval Academy. In order for my classmates and me to have a more successful chance while applying to college, I think that it is vital we return to school as soon as possible. Lakeridge High School

Twelfth Grade

Please send any questions that you may have to the Elevating Voices team. 



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