On April 19, all students and faculty will be returning back in person. A variety of thoughts on the change have been spurred however, the majority of student opinions have been positive. The main reason that the administration has decided to implement this change is that they have deemed it safe to return.
Margaret Walker ‘22 mostly agrees with this assessment, saying “Blake has taken good precautions about keeping everyone safe.” Noah Goodman ‘21 agrees: “From my perspective, a lot of the safety measures I think are working the best is like wearing a mask. I think if they keep the mask-wearing and the lunch thing where everyone is apart, It sounds like they could make it work.” Walker also acknowledges that there “hasn’t been a good change in safety…students haven’t gotten vaccinated.”
Additionally, there has been concern over specific areas of the school. For example, the lunchroom and hallways already pose safety concerns that will only be exasperated by the increased number of people in the building. Goodman notes, “It’s gonna be hard to fit everyone in the classroom, if you have twice the number of people in the class it might be harder to get people to space out but I think they could make it work out…Lunch [lines] already just doesn’t kind of work…they tell you to social distance, but then I’ll [be] standing in a staircase with like 30 other people for 20 minutes.”
The workload may also pose additional challenges. The previous hybrid and online models allowed for a significant amount of free time. Madelyn Besikof ‘22, who has been online for the 3rd quarter, reflects that “ I am able to listen to the teacher more [and] limit distractions. ” Goodman adds “It will be something that I will get used to. I definitely enjoy the free time I get from a day in the middle but I spend a lot of time doing homework on my async days anyway and I don’t feel like it’s that much more work.” Walker reflects “I have mixed feelings about it. I think that it would be good to go back, it would be fun to see people again but I have liked our new schedule and smaller classes have been really nice, so a little bit of both.”