The parking lots are filled with cars, the bells are commencing class, and students are on campus. Although traditionally the first day of school is in August students are excited and have mixed feelings about the return.
“It feels refreshing, finally having some kind of human interaction,” said Jonah Prichard. “Even though this is not really like it was before, I think I will be able to focus much better.”
In Nov. students had the choice between staying online or being a part of the hybrid model which then is split into an A and B cohort. By splitting the school up into three parts it reduces the amount of people on campus.
“I find it weird how quiet it is in the classrooms and that there are only 4 other students in the room with me,” said Sierra Ferguson.
Schools are able to be open because Sacramento entered the red tier and reopened with protocols in place to protect both students and staff. Some of the obvious ones include keeping 6 feet and wearing masks but the district has gone further by limiting class sizes and providing hand sanitizer.
“Yesterday felt like a fever dream, the campus looked so full but my classes had around 4-9 people,” said Alyssa Diaz. “I found myself feeling so restless because I’m not used to sitting in a classroom anymore.”
With this new way of learning and teaching it comes with its challenges from homework to communicating through masks. With a year gone by and a multitude of changes adjusting will take time.
“In a way, in-person school is easier and harder,” said Nate Schalling. “Now, it is very easy to communicate with classmates and pay more attention.”
Some of the challenges that students didn’t expect is the cohorts and where their friends would be placed. The division of the cohorts between A and B has left some in the process of making new friends.
“Overall it just wasn’t the same from what I’m used to and with all my friends in the other cohorts I didn’t have anyone to talk to,” said Cooper Cramer.
However students agree that being in hybrid gives them the opportunity to be better students. Since they are around people in a classroom it motivates them to do their homework and pay attention.
“It feels kind of weird, especially the classes that have three other kids in them, but I’m excited to be back in school at least partially because I feel like it’s easier to focus and stay on track with my homework,” said Grace Ann Lesser.
Hybrid learning allows students to get that in person experience they crave while keeping them safe, so after one year and eight days students take their first steps back to normalcy.