This school year outshines the last


This year, we might ask ourselves–What was better or worse than the 2020 school year? Well there is, and was, a pandemic all through 2020-2021. The school started in 2019 by offering hybrid or all online. Hybrid was when you would go in certain days a week depending what team you were on. The hybrid days would only last a half a day then you had two classes online after lunch. This year and last year, it had been mandatory to wear masks in school. 

This year, everyone is fully in person and no online learning is provided unless you have tested positive for Covid and need to quarantine. If you are quarantining, there is a different subject that meets after school everyday. 

We also eat lunch in school this year with different seating places depending on your lunch study teacher and the day of the week.

 Last year, mostly everything was online and this year mostly everything is on paper. The switch from last year to this year was huge in students learning and teachers teaching. This year students are doing much better. “You can actually pay attention this year,” eighth grade student Jaiya Leroy explained. 

It was hard last year with the online and the distractions at your house to learn and pay attention. Teachers couldn’t see the work you were doing behind the screen. Even when those students went to school, teachers would have to focus on in person and online students at the same time. “It was really hard to give everyone equal attention and time. I had to be visible on the computer for the remote students, but I also needed to talk in person to kids in my room. We were also behind plexiglass, so this task was very stressful,” explained eighth grade Journalism and Language Arts teacher Mrs. Erin Meade.

When a student was online and needed to ask a question they would have to put the raise hand thing but if the teacher was helping the students around the classroom they wouldn’t see it so you couldn’t get that direct help. “Trying to teach through a computer screen made it less effective,” eighth grade social studies teacher Mr. Matthew Varhley said. 

“In person allows students to connect with their peers and extra help is right there for them,” Mr. Cusumano stated. 

Extra help is a time when students can either go in the morning or after school to meet with their teacher to go over work. Last year, extra help was after school or during lunch and you logged onto your teachers meet. This year students can visit teachers in the morning or afternoon. As eighth grade science teacher Mrs. Kristi Houghtaling explained,  “Teachers are trying to figure out a way that students could also have extra help during lunch, too.”

Another difference between virtual learning and in person is that online last year you couldn’t see as many things as you can see this year. “You can actually see the person and that makes a difference when you’re showing them something. In science, you can show the students things like experiments that you couldn’t show well virtually,” Mrs. Houghtaling added. 

Tests and quizzes were all online last year and many times students were allowed to use open notes. This year, assessments are basically all on paper and only some are open notes. “Tests and quizzes are better online because I don’t like to write,” declared seventh grader Taylor Bloch.

 This is the case for most students because writing takes a lot more time than typing. We have also become a lot better at typing from using the computer a lot last year. However, some teachers like paper assessments better. “Tests and quizzes are easier on paper because technology can be a little clumsy and hard for two part things,” Mr.Varhley explained. 

Lastly, is lunch better in person or at home? Well, as we all know through this pandemic lunch is much safer at home, but you only have socialization with your family and through the phone with your friends. Even though this year we have to sit next to and eat with the same people from your lunch study every day, students still have that socialization that was lacking last year. “I like having lunch in school because I get to socialize and see my friends even if I don’t get to sit with them,” eighth grader Erica Filipe explained. 

All in all, there were some not so good things about last year that differed from this year. Waking up later and staying in pajamas was fun, but everyone was not getting as much work done as this year. This year, students can see our friends and not only get to talk to them on the phone. Even though Covid is still prominent, we have figured out a way to have a more effective and social school day including keeping everyone safe.