High School During a Pandemic 


Natalie Smith

Mountain View High School students in the hallways during transition time.

Questions concerning the Coronavirus at Mountain View High School were answered by Principal Erikson. We all know that Mountain View has had its struggles with sports, but in terms of Coronavirus cases, Mountain View is one of the best, even better than Orem High. As schools have reopened for the new school year, Covid-19 cases have shot up, which is to be expected. Already, many schools have had to shut down or go into blended learning, but neither of these have happened at Mountain View so far. During this time, being a school administrator is even more of a stressful job. The health of the student body is one of their top priorities. There have been many precautions put into place by Alpine School District to help prevent Coronavirus cases at schools. With that, there comes many questions. A topic of confusion is student and teacher quarantining. Principle Erikson helped clear things up by explaining the process of when a student has to quarantine from a contact. A summary is, if there’s a positive case in a classroom, any person who has been 6 feet or closer for more than 15 minutes to the Corona positive person will be called in, talked to, and then sent out for up to 14 days. The name of the tested positive person will be kept confidential. Mr. Erikson explained that, “The district and county health department says that if a school has 15 or more active Corona positive cases, then that triggers a discussion on a blended learning model or online learning.” He goes on to say that Mountain View has never exceeded the 5 mark and that both the teachers and students are doing well with low case numbers. 

Principal Erikson was asked what his expectations for this school year were, and what the reality has been. He said “I was happy that we were coming back; I was happy that we were going to be face to face. I was expecting a little bit more online work from the students that elected to do their courses online, but we are finding that some aren’t doing anything at all on there, so they’re just falling more and more behind. But really my expectations have been exceeded because students have been wearing their masks in the hallways, and all we have to do really is remind them every once in a while to pull it up over their nose. But everything that I expected this year to start with has been exceeded so far.” He continued to say that his expectations have become a reality because the Mountain View students have been doing a great job with mask wearing, being where they’re supposed to, and doing their work. He concluded with “I’m really happy with where we’re sitting at right now.” 

Due to the Coronavirus, many schools, including Mountain View, have had to cancel school dances. As many know, on September 19th a student organized homecoming was thrown for Mountain View students to attend. When asked the question: “What are your feelings about the homecoming dance even though it was not affiliated with Mountain View?” Principal Erikson replied, “When I heard about it, I wasn’t happy.” He said that, as an administration, they can’t control what students and parents put on outside of school. He stated that the dance “didn’t make us [the administration] pleased.” He went on to say that time will tell if students were actually wearing their masks and if there was anybody who was positive at the dance. He said that if there is an increase in numbers, Mountain View might have to switch to blended learning. He continued, “I was proud of the students who didn’t go. There was a lot of peer pressure there.” He hopes that moving forward, everybody will make smart choices. He wants the students to realize that, “Yes, right now you’re missing out on part of your high school life, but this is also just a slice, and the bigger pie is coming. You can have fun the rest of your life.” He ended with “We just need to keep things in perspective.” Wise words from Mountain View’s principal. 

Utah County has recently become a hotspot for the Coronavirus, and cities such as Orem and Provo have moved from yellow back to orange. When asked his feelings on this, Principal Erikson said, “I feel that most of those are coming from UVU and BYU kids.” He continued, “School, I believe, is the safest place to be for kids right now.” He went on to say that Mountain View’s custodians have made it a priority to keep the school as clean as possible. They are constantly spraying the hallways and wiping down all the touch points. He continued, “I hope we are able to move back to yellow fairly soon, but only time will tell, and it’s going to be up to everybody to do their part.”