Back to school season... in March
A little over a year since the announcement of the two week break from school in March 2020, San Joaquin Memorial High School is now having four day in-person instruction. All school days, except for Wednesdays- which will continue to be on Zoom to allow for campus cleaning- will have both A-K and L-Z students. Of course, this will only be for the students who opted for the hybrid learning model with several students continuing to stay fully online.
Like many students, senior Emilee Sanders' main concern with the new schedule is the spread of Covid-19, stating that “with Covid I’m slightly concerned about going back 4 days.”
To help assuage students fears SJM has continued to try to limit the spread of the virus on campus with social distancing in and outside of classrooms and requires masks for all students and adults on campus. For classrooms that have too many students returning to in-person learning to safely fit enough desks four feet apart, they are being relocated to areas like the gym or cafeteria so classes can be safely held in-person. They have also allowed students to continue to use the fully remote option to reduce their risk of exposure.
Sanders has also noticed more differences past the increased student population and the four feet between desks saying some classes have been “easier in-person, such as English, when we have to participate in Socratic Seminars” and others being “the exact same whether we are in or out of the classroom.”
She also believes that “teachers have a much higher expectation for students” now that the majority of classes have more in-person students than 100% remote students.
Of course, the schedule changes do not just affect the students going to class in-person, as several students in each grade level continue or switch to the fully remote option that is still being offered for the remainder of the school year.
Senior Akhnoor Sidhu who opted to stick with the fully remote option said she noticed her classes are “more fast paced...like we’re back to pre-covid time like regular school.”
Sidhu added that the “amount of work seems similar to pre-covid times also.”
Of course there were also aspects of the change that Sidhu enjoyed, including the new schedule being “more concrete...before it was all over the place. Before it was red day, white day, red day. Now it’s red day, white day, blue day which is honestly a lot better because I am not seeing some my teachers three days in a row and then not seeing others for four days” she added.
Students have varying perspectives on the switch, but so far the four day in-person instruction has been going well and looks like it will be here to stay for the rest of the school year.