Students return to school

Seniors and freshmen experience the first days of in-person learning

This was the first week of in-person learning for seniors and freshmen. As students entered the building for their first, or last, year of high school, they were met with spaced out desks, sanitizing stations and empty hallways.

“The school has done a great job with social distancing based on the seating arrangements in classes, up/down signs near the stairs, and the socially distanced lunch,” senior Marya Ansari said.

Students who signed up to go in-person were drawn to the option because of the appeal of normalcy and structure.

“I wanted to see friends and try to get as close to a normal senior year as possible,” senior Abria Hamberg said. “It was a drastic change from logging in at home.”

With COVID-19 limiting social interaction, students looked forward to the chance to safely see and talk to classmates.

“I wanted to see my friends, and that was probably the biggest reason [for going back],” freshman Benji Borger said.

Students, however, were surprised to see that many of their classmates did not choose to return to in-person learning. Many found that their classes only had a few students back in the classroom.

“My first day was not great because I was the only one in [three] of my classes,” senior Ella David said.

Even though students were in the classroom, some still had to sign into Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) to participate in class.

“I expected to be interacting more with my teachers and off the computers, but instead I still had to sign in to BBCU, which was kind of weird,” senior Audrey Khoriaty said.

Despite the school being less crowded than expected and having to use a computer like at home, some students found that in-person learning was noticeably more beneficial than virtual learning.

“It was easier to ask questions to teachers, and paying attention was less of a challenge than at home,” Hamberg said.

Students discovered that being in a classroom setting allowed for better concentration and focus.

“The lack of distractions really helped me learn the material,” Borger said.

Despite some of the benefits of returning to in-person learning, the unfamiliar setting and lack of a full classroom made students hesitant to continue with their in-person learning decision.

“As of now, I’m on the fence about whether to stay in person or go back online,” Borger said. “I think I might stay in person to familiarize myself with the experience.”