North Attempts to Return to Normalcy During Pandemic

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North students and staff have had to transition between in-person and virtual school countless times in the 2020-2021 school year. The main contributor to this inconvenience is certainly COVID itself but students and teachers are hoping for consistency in the future to help make school feel normal again.

Sara Hendry, Social Media Mogul

  • “There’s honestly not much to do to make students feel normal while staying safe, but it would be nice going back to three lunches so that we can socialize with more people to feel more connected with each other,” said senior Anna Decker,
    Even before the shut down, school wasn’t even comparable to what it used to be. As school reopens, the same regulations students had before will still be in place to keep students safe. One of these changes has been lunch. Lunch is now divided into four shifts instead of three like how it was in previous years. Some students feel that this could be changed while still maintaining social distancing. Normalizing the lunch rotations is just one way of making school feel more normal however.
    Social distancing has put a strain on many students mentally.
    “Social distancing keeps us away from our friends, and it’s hard to stay connected with them. I’ve noticed that I sleep a lot more, and it’s just hard to stay motivated to do work,” said junior Grayson Hedden.
    With so many rules and regulations in place, making school similar to what it was a couple of years ago seems impossible. However, teachers have been listening to students to help them feel more connected, add more time for social connection activities and help them understand why the rules are in place.
    “Talking with students about ideas that would help them be more comfortable and asking students what their time has been like and what would be most helpful for them [is important to make students feel more comfortable,]” said English teacher Wendy Surinsky.
    Students also play a part in this return to normalcy. Being patient with one another and teachers as well as following the rules to keep everyone safe will help alleviate stress and provide a more comfortable atmosphere in which people can find time to learn and socialize safely.
    “I think, what has the possibility to help is for us all to be mindful that this is a really difficult time and keep in mind that for many students it is totally discombobulating. I think the expectations need to be shifted a little bit in terms of what students need and trying to respond to that,” said Surinsky.
    North’s administration is doing the best it can right now by adjusting to each step along the way, but it is difficult to establish a feeling of normalcy when the schedule and situation is seemingly ever changing.
    “I think the school district could do better by staying more consistent with school. Either online or in-person because switching back and forth is an unneeded challenge that we have to keep adjusting to. Consistency for a teenager is important in our lives and school should be that consistent factor,” said Hedden.
    School is not only for learning but for socializing and teaching students how to be productive members of society. When school consists of only academics, nothing seems normal. As students and teachers come back to school in-person, it’s important to remember that a feeling of normalcy is important and that can be achieved by listening to each other, allowing a time and a place for socialization while following safety regulations. Schools are continuing to change and figure out more ways to make students feel normal at school the best that they can.