The Pandemic and SSN Students: a Unique Story


Taken by Emma Pettibone

SSN Students Pictured Here Out Front of WRHS

Lily Ives, Editor in Chief

School is never the same for all students. Not every person learns the same or even perceives school the same way. With the COVID-19 pandemic, these differences have become even more apparent with this huge learning curve of being online. It’s important to consider how other people are dealing with the situation in our very own high school. 

The Significant Support Needs students (or SSN for shorthand) are currently the only students attending our high school in person (of course, this is different now considering the return to hybrid learning on Monday). Now if you’re unfamiliar with these students, they are basically the students who require more attention than their abled counterparts, and chances are you’ve met them before in one of your classes. 

You may be wondering about why they are still at school while we aren’t and why the plans are different when it comes to them. To get some insight into this, I interviewed the SSN teacher, Emma Pettibone. 

Pettibone told me about how before this school year, her students were participating in remote learning online, the same way all students were, but this proved to be trouble.

“Some of these kiddos have a difficult time learning online,” Pettibone stated on the subject. 

Practically, online learning just was not viable for most of these students. They wouldn’t have gotten the education that they deserve, so it was changed this year to better fit the students’ needs. 

Currently, SSN students are fully in person, with precautions of course being taken, such as masks and social distancing. Pettibone mentioned that she and her students “all feel lucky” that they have been able to do this form of learning. She also feels very thankful that Jeffco has helped in providing the PPE necessary for learning and that they have given care to this community. 

Pettibone’s students told me that they are very excited to see their friends once hybrid learning resumes on Monday and that the lack of social interaction with other people is the hardest part of this. They miss doing things like having lunch with pals!

Overall, the SSN students learn differently than most of us do, and so certain accommodations need to be made. I’m glad that these kids are learning to a better degree than they did last year.