How are in-person learners handling school?

Novalea Verno

Students work on assignments during class while remaining socially distanced from each other.
Photo by Novalea Verno.

With a large portion of students attending classes from home, the atmosphere and classroom setups have changed drastically. But how are this year’s in-person learners actually handling the changes?

One of the biggest changes made this year is the arrows pointing down the newly christened one-way hallways. Some students are confused as to why this was implemented at all.

It’s also not really doing anything for us, as we are already close together in the hallway…. no matter what direction we could be going, we’re still in contact with one another,” said Gracie Giuffrida, a junior.

Others are happy that the school made some effort at promoting social distancing. The school has also been enforcing distancing with spreading out desks and students in classrooms. Every space once used for socializing has turned into spaces isolating students from one another.

“I think it’s kind of annoying…. At lunch, you can’t sit across from someone but you can sit right next to them,” said Kyra Shultz, a junior.

Although the school is trying its best to space out the students, as soon as that bell rings, the hallways are flooded with kids. The wearing of masks can only do so much when faced with the excitement of students who have spent the past six months in their rooms. The high fives, hugs and fist bumps have yet to yield to CDC guidelines.

Despite the general feeling of being safe at school, in-person learners have begun to express some concerns. Their biggest concern? The responsibility put on students to recognize and diagnose the COVID-19 virus.

“I do not feel safe knowing the school has to rely on the students to get tested for Covid-19 [virus] in order to know when they have to instruct quarantining on others,” said Giuffrida.

Some people don’t feel comfortable going to a hospital for tests for fear of what they may be exposed to. Others simply won’t miss a day of school because of a small headache regardless of a global pandemic.

After spending four weeks in school, in-person students have been able to observe how their teachers handle zoom classes. The general observation? Teachers can’t balance the two groups of students very well.

“…I think it is rather unfair for both sides. Some teachers either put all of their attention into the in-person students and ignore the zoom kids while other teachers do the opposite,” Giuffrida said.

Ben Newpher, a freshman, also shared similar sentiments when questioned if he made the right choice choosing in-person learning.

“It would have been way harder and way more boring at home,” he said.

As cases of the coronavirus slowly begin to grow, in-person learners continue to hold on to the last bit of normalcy in their life. The district is doing its best to keep students as safe as possible. As always, if students start to feel unsafe or uncomfortable at school, they are encouraged to try the online learning option.