Returning to a “Normal” School Year?

By: Alex Miller

COVID-19 had a huge impact on all of the world. Something it truly affected was schools. Students went from going into school 5 days a week, with that being normal, to no school at all. In spring of 2020, Salisbury decided to take virtual school a different way for each grade. For me personally, I was in 8th grade and we were assigned work that was due by the end of the week. We had to complete the work asynchronously.

I became a freshman in high school during the first full year of COVID-19. Salisbury decided to stay virtual from August to February. The first semester I was home learning virtually. By the end of the semester I felt like I just finished the school year. I then realized I still had the rest of the year.  We had a semester block scheduling. Just because I was completely done with most of my classes, didn’t mean I was done with school.

Salisbury’s schedule used to be an A/B block schedule. You had a different set of classes every other day. Everyday you switched, having different classes each block. Our first 2 or 3 weeks of our 2nd semester, we were virtual with a plan to go back. After 2-3 weeks, we finally went back to school. High school was hybrid and I didn’t go in until the end of the week. My first day back to school felt like I was going to school for the first time in my life. The school district had us come with the alphabet split. A-L came in during the beginning of the week, Monday-Tuesday. M-Z came in during the end of the week, Thursday-Friday. Wednesday changed every other week of what half of the alphabet went into school.

We got news a couple of weeks ago that the high school will be going back 5 days a week at the start of the 2021-2022 school year. When I heard this news I was excited, but wondering how I would change back into a “normal” life. My mind has gotten used to being virtual half the week and into school the other half. I am excited for the 5 days a week plan because it is showing we are slowly but safely going back to “normal.”

The definition of normal has definitely changed this past year. Normal used to be going out to the movies, dinner, public pools, and more. When you left the house all you had to make sure you had was your phone, wallet, and keys. You never saw anyone wear a mask outside, unless they were in surgery. Now, normal is private pools or your own. Go out to restaurants but you have to wait until a table opens up. Movies are finally starting to open up but only after 14 months. Normal is now needing your phone, wallet, keys, and mask. If you see someone without a mask, that isn’t normal.

Now I am going into 10th grade. We are finally starting to go back to a “normal” life, again. This new normal was adjusted to quickly and we can go back to the old normal slowly. School won’t look this different for this upcoming school year; at least from what we are used to now. School won’t look like how we were used to this year. Masks hopefully won’t be worn and everyone will be back in school together. I am very excited for this next school year so I can be back with all of my friends and the “normal” high school experience.