After learning from home for most of the year, K-6 students returned to school on March 8 and were followed by the middle school students on March 22.
Most people, including administrators, students and staff, are excited for the change of pace and to see full classrooms once again.
James Hollinger, the principal of Southern Elementary School (S.E.S.), is grateful to see the children in a more traditional environment again.
“I think we needed to do what we did [with the previous schedule], but I also think there is a time when we need to come back,” said Hollinger.
Michelle Brengle, the guidance counselor at S.E.S. agrees and sees the value on the children’s emotional well-being.
“I think that routine is causing some struggle, but most of the kids that I talk to are really happy that we’re back five days,” said Brengle.
While some students feel this way, others, like eighth-grade student Madeleine Gilbert, have a different opinion.
“I would prefer to stick to how we have it now because I’ve adjusted to it so much, and I don’t know what it will be like combining with A-day,” said Gilbert.
The pandemic has caused a dramatic difference in student productivity, with some excelling and others becoming overwhelmed; returning to school could amplify either extreme.
“I’ve seen a lot more anxiety and stress in students that we’ve seen in the past,” said Brengle. “Several students are still struggling…getting back into the routine.”
With that being said, Hollinger praised the work of his students thus far and has some advice for returning students- especially those having a tough time.
“Keep it up, keep going, because you’re gonna make it,” said Hollinger.
If any students are having trouble adjusting to their new schedules, they can reach out to a trusted adult or counselor to receive support.