In light of the current pandemic, many feel anxious and wary towards basically everything. Going back to school for four days a week is no exception. The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes that children learn much better when physically present at school, and that in-person school offers many other aspects that online school cannot fully replicate. However, they also acknowledge that we “must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers, and staff.” At Hampton, for example, students will continue to use face masks and increase the frequency of desk shields to accommodate the increases. Teachers will also be rearranging rooms and removing even more furniture to best minimize contact between themselves and students, and between students as well. Additional measures are being taken as well to improve the policy of contact tracing should cases emerge. Just last night the District sent families of high school students a letter expressing that we have our first two cases.
I interviewed a few fellow students to get their take on the situation. My question: On a scale from 1-10, how happy are you about hybrid learning as a whole? Can you explain this number? Pod B student, Ava Neugebauer’s response: “Six. Some classes I genuinely like more being online. Physics online surprisingly is very much easier for my mind to comprehend. However, English I really need to be in class to be learning and seeing everything.” Pod A student, Rachel Dolan agreed, but for different reasons: “ I would rate hybrid learning at a six because I am able to sleep in a little longer, workout in the mornings, and have more time to do school work and spend time with my family. However, I find it really hard to pay attention and stay motivated, especially on Fridays, since I’m at home.”
Even though freshmen returned today, I asked two upperclassmen how they felt going back to school on November 16th given the circumstances. Neugebauer said, “I feel safe going back to school. And I wish it was earlier and that the upperclassmen would go back because [sorry to the underclassmen] but our classes are very important.” Dolan expressed a similar confidence, “Personally, I think that we have been doing a good job right now and I don’t think it will be much of an issue. I think we will be fine as long as we follow guidelines and wear our masks over our nose and mouth, [and] maybe even using our desk shields in every class period. I do feel safe about going back.”
To get some variety, I chose to interview someone from Pod B and someone from Pod A, thinking it might have an effect on the results. However, I was wrong, as for the most part, I think our classmates shared similar views about wanting to go back to in-school learning. Of course, now that there are cases, it’s possible that the overall feeling has changed. What’s your opinion about going back four days? Please comment!