Next Tuesday, students and teachers will return to school for the first day of instruction since March 6. After transitioning back, school will look a little differently.
“When we had Founder’s Day on Wednesday, and we had freshmen in the building, it [was] honestly so great to see students in the school building,” Principal Chris Mayfield said on last night’s webinar. “For six months, it has been missing, so that was amazing. I’m going to be thrilled on Tuesday morning to see faces light up, to see that great connection that kids have with one another. So, I’m excited. I’m fired up. I’m ready to go.”
With the school year starting, new procedures have been set in place for students that are attending face-to-face and those who will continue to learn from home.
“Our kids at home will be getting the face-to-face experience,” Mayfield said. “For a lot of our teachers, what they are doing with their synchronous instruction is they are planning to stream their activities that are happening in the class at the same time, so that students at home get that same experience. I really think it’s going to be great.”
The school will open up at 8 a.m. every day, but teachers will be ready to let students into their classrooms at 8:30 a.m.
“We’re really asking kids and parents to try to hit an eight 8:20 to 8:40 window, if at all possible,” Mayfield said. “That gives us an opportunity not to have that big congregation in the commons area. Our teachers will start tutoring some at eight o’clock, and they’ll need to schedule tutoring time but they could certainly come in and go to tutoring at that time.”
A new addition to the school day is the hallway traffic control. Hallways will only have one way traffic when going from class to class. The upstairs halls will have a traffic flow in the direction toward B-Hall, and the downstairs hallways will flow toward D-Hall.
“The one way hallways will take some getting used to, but they are just in a big loop,” student council officer Ashlyn Carty said. “At some points, it will probably be inconvenient, but we have new 15 minute passing periods, so making it to class should not be a problem.”
Lunch time will also look different this year. Students will sit at single desks that are socially distanced, so they are in regulation to take masks off.
“Kids can carry on conversations during lunchtime, and I mean, we want them to,” Mayfield said. “It’s a great time to socialize, but obviously they’re not going to have a mask on. And they’re going to be eating and drinking, so we’ve got to be thoughtful about the social distancing. We really feel like that’s a great opportunity to get them out of the classroom, get them in with their peers, let them have conversations, but keep them safe and socially distant.”
With all the changes that have been made for this school year, students, teachers and other faculty members will have to adjust and work together to face what is to come.
“If I could give any advice to students, it would be to just give in person school a shot,” student council officer Riley McGowan said. “From what it sounds like, it may not be very appealing for a lot of people, however I promise if you give the new restrictions time, students may realize that they aren’t as harsh as they may seem at first.”