“I know a lot of us dreaded it and we would’ve rather stayed in summer, but the start of the 2020-2021 school year came anyway.” For some students like senior Alexis Acosta, that meant something very different. She chose to be a remote-learner that logs on from home to participate in her classes. About 20% of students elected to stay home this year due to COVID 19, which means that 80% returned to a vastly different atmosphere in their beloved Virginia High School.
This year, students were greeted with designated up and down stairwells, tape along the floor in the hallways, face masks, closed lockers, block scheduling, lunch in the classrooms and ZOOM calls. Even with all the changes, there is some fun too. There are tons of different face masks and every one of them is unique. Even though it may be uncomfortable, we can still have fun and show off our creativity or make something that screams you!
One of the best new things this year is that students are often able to work outside the school. This is called a “mask break,” but it also allows us to get some outdoor time while completing our assignments. Mr. Hammer speaks on the subject, “I try to take my classes outside as much as possible during in-class work time. The masks weren’t the easiest to wear all day at first, but I think we’re all getting as used to them even though getting acne from them is no fun.”
If you are in school or online, a teacher or a bystanding parent, you probably noticed that the time schedule has changed — a lot! Students now have four classes a day that are 89 minutes long. This helps reduce the mixing of students throughout the day and also helps students focus on specific subjects if they are a distance learner and should help them stay focused during the hybrid model too. One sophomore noted, “I like that we learn the information and get to practice it right in the classroom instead of rushing to the next subject. Sometimes, I used to forget what exactly I was supposed to do because we had seven classes of homework. I like the four a lot better.”
This school year may come with some challenges, but it gives us the opportunity to make the best of it by being creative while also following rules. All in all, it really teaches us that we can handle the challenges life throws at us. If we can do this, we can do nearly anything.
Written By: Senior, Alexis Acosta and an Anonymous VHS Staff Member