OHS During Lockdown: Changes Through Covid


Mandy Yu

OHS Pixel Fest: Welcome and Hello Event. Mr. Strong and Dr. Steele hold up stuffed pixels!

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the world’s 1.5 billion students have been affected by school closures. With the pandemic still spreading and 2021 beginning, so much has changed over the past ten months. But how has OHS as a school been adapting?


Changes in the School

Since quarantine first began in March 2020, a lot at OHS has changed. All Student Life events have been shifted online, and students can no longer attend in-person meetups or events. “The biggest change that we’ve experienced is having to move all of our events online. Before the pandemic, we were having major in-person events like the Pixel Festival, Homecoming, and Graduation Weekend, but they’ve had to be replaced and had to be moved online. Regional meetups have also had to be moved,” Dr. Hoshi says. This is a massive change, as OHS has been an online school with in-person events since the year it was founded, in 2006. “Our school has always been about online education while having lots of in-person components. In recent times though, we’ve had to change it to online purely,” Dr. Hoshi explains. 

Since COVID-19 started, major changes have also been applied to the curriculum. When the pandemic began, there were high-stress levels all around. “We noticed that everyone was feeling kind of exhausted,” Dr. Lamont says. “We modified our curriculum for each course to allow more course flexibility.” This semester, however, courses seem to be moving back to their regular speed and state. While coursework seems to be back to normal, there are still things to work around with COVID-19.  “Before the pandemic, we also had staff meetings with instructors flying in, but we’re definitely missing that right now,” Dr. Lamont adds. 


Hosting Virtual Events

A few months ago, OHS held its first-ever virtual Homecoming.“Before the event, I felt really nervous. Everyone’s online with classes and clubs and activities, so I wasn’t too confident before the event that we could create that feeling of specialness, but I think that we managed to do that, having many people and students and teachers there.” said Dr. Hoshi. Students who might not have been able to fly into a physical Homecoming were also able to attend virtually. 

Last year’s Pixel Gathering and Graduation Weekend were also held online. Dr. Lamont described the events as really touching to do on Adobe Connect. “It felt more communal than doing it in a big auditorium, with students being able to give shoutouts and send messages from the chat during speeches. We also had a lot of alumni this year, around twenty-five, which was just really awesome!” 

OHS has also offered free webinar sessions for teachers and students new to online learning. “OHS has created free resources to a K-12 education support and help to teachers and students who have had to really quickly shift to online teaching and learning,” Dr. Hoshi explains. The sessions included a series of tutorial videos created by instructors with essential online classroom tools and effective best practices. Other resources included tech troubleshooting tips,  a checklist for remote learning plans, and recommended student support services for creating an ideal online learning community. 


Finding Silver Linings

When asked about what he was most proud of OHS for, Dr. Hoshi said that he was “so proud to see this spirit of compassion and support for each other. I think that everybody has been challenged in their own ways, but they are always ready to help each other. There’s just been this really strong feeling of mutual support.”

Having an active community filled with student and staff who care for each other help to create a supportive environment for remote learning, something especially important in the times of a global pandemic. Though physical guidelines might separate us, going to school every day with friends and teachers online unites our community.