With yet another new schedule making its way into the school year, marking May 5 as the first everyday back-to-school routine, many opinions have been formed based on these events.
The proudly presented “Yellow Zone” announced by the COVID Activity Level Report from the week of April 24, 2021 has allowed for the movement to more in-person education. The once required six-feet social distancing has now been reduced to three feet. VHS’s response has been to move immediately to five days of in-person schooling a week, with one cohort of students, for the rest of the marking period.
Those opposed believe that the shifting to five days a week seems to be happening “too quickly.” The ever-so-often changing schedule has made it difficult for not only students, but parents, teachers and staff as well to get situated to this already very difficult year. Additionally, the new schedule will put upwards of 20 students together in some classrooms for the first time since last March of 2020.
“These schedule changes this year have been very confusing,” one student says. “These changes have made it very challenging to get to and from school as well as extracurricular activities. We just got into the yellow zone for our Covid cases. I don’t want to risk getting back into those worse zones. The schedule was just switched days ago (to full-day hybrid) and now we have to go every day? I feel like this might be a bit too much too soon.”
One student in full support of the change, asked about the new schedule, explained, “I am really happy that we are going back to school every day. I find it’s easier to learn as a student that way. Being in school means I’m able to see more friends, so that’s the best part about it.”
Asked “Are you happy that we are starting to go in-person every day this current school year? Or do you wish it started the following year?” the response was, “I wish that everyday in-person learning started earlier in the year. It’s a disadvantage being in online school because it can become easily distracting.” And when finally asked, “Do you think that the push for everyday learning is too soon based on Covid cases?” the student replied, “I think we should have gone into school sooner. There have been very few cases in the schools. If anything, the most cases have been from sports, not through the classes and hallways. I really think that this everyday learning will bring back some form of normalcy.”
Regularity and normalcy is what we all want. But is this “normalcy” at the cost of health and safety? This will all soon be determined as Verona Public Schools step into their new schedule for the final marking period of the pandemic school year.