In-person school: I expected more

by Savannah Nicolas, Reporter

When Gov. Jay Inslee announced in March that all schools must open by mid-April, I was surprised since there was barely any talk beforehand about high schools reopening in our area. With very little time for planning or time to get input from the community, I wondered how a new, safe schedule could be put in place with such short notice. 

Once the a.m./p.m. hybrid schedule was announced, many students, families, and teachers were unhappy. At least one student-created petition was circulated through social media requesting adoption of a different schedule. 

But with very little time to make changes and a schedule already approved by both the district and teachers’ union, planning moved forward and school opened for in-person learning on the Monday after spring break. 

Now that we’re almost a month in, I can reflect on how it’s going. 

For me personally, this hybrid school model isn’t in any way a solution to anything and for me it was just motivation to get out of bed. The classes are quite small and I don’t socialize since most of my friends are in Cohort A which was really disappointing. I’m enjoying the structure of going to class because it’s putting me into a routine again which I barely had when it was just online school. That part is good. 

It must have been hard for the teachers to adjust to suddenly have to plan for in person classes. I’ve heard from some teachers that in-person school, in general, is better although others are feeling the challenges of teaching to eight different groups a day. 

No matter the schedule, suddenly being thrust into a social interaction after being in quarantine for a little over a year is something definitely difficult for many people but in the long run, should hopefully be more beneficial. After more than a year into the pandemic, we aren’t used to socializing and we need to begin to re-adjust. Returning to in-person school–even with the very limited contact we now have–is a step in the right direction, but it’s still not enough. 

As a senior I would have liked to have a normal last year surrounded by my friends and even getting closer to people I would have never thought I would get closer to but with such limited classes, there’s not much chance for that to happen. 

I have a maximum of eight people in my classes and it’s better than only one other person, but it’s not the same and it leaves me a little sad. I wanted to go to in-person classes because, like so many, I felt isolated and wanted to change that. While it may have been the best schedule and perhaps the only choice, the results are disappointing and I’m feeling just as isolated as I did before.