What to expect in 2021-2022 school year

A+socially+distanced+classroom+on+May+6.

Photo by Ryan Kunst

A socially distanced classroom on May 6.

With this being one of the most unpredictable and stressful school years of all time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, students, staff and parents are highly anticipating a return to in-person school next fall. 

I miss being able to see my friends every day at lunch. Little things like that make going to school in person more enjoyable. I can’t wait to be back in the fall.”

— Shelby Parsons

MCPS announced on May 26 that schools will be open for traditional, in-person learning for students and staff this fall for the full 2021-2022 school year. It has been clarified that students and staff will be expected to attend school in person, five days a week. MCPS is expected to share a detailed fall reopening plan with the Board of Education and MCPS community in June.  “I miss being able to see my friends every day at lunch. Little things like that make going to school in person more enjoyable. I can’t wait to be back in the fall,” sophomore Shelby Parsons said. 

As more students begin to get vaccinated, people will feel more comfortable going back to normal. The Pfizer vaccine is available for anyone above the age of 12.  This summer, major companies such as Maderna and Fizer plan to work on a vaccine for younger children, below the age of 12. All high school students are eligible to receive the vaccine right now and most middle school students can get their dose as well. Elementary school students are expected to get their dose soon. This way, all grade levels will have the ability to be vaccinated, something that will make the community much safer. Sophomore Aarnav Tare is excited for the vaccine possibly being available for younger children. “I’m excited for the possibility of my little brother being able to receive the vaccine this summer. It would make our family fully vaccinated, and that makes me feel like we are making progress. This past year it has felt like we have not gained much ground fighting this virus, and I feel like this is changing that,” Tare said. 

 Given the fact that some families may still have health concerns regarding the pandemic and some students may have thrived with virtual learning, MCPS is also offering a new Virtual Academy this fall. The Virtual Academy will provide a full-time virtual learning program for students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Most students will return to school in person and any students who are interested in the Virtual Academy can apply starting June 1. More information will be shared on the MCPS Virtual Academy website. Sophomore Alex Neguissie is interested in the academy. “I’m not sure if I want to participate in it, but I think it is a fantastic opportunity for people who enjoyed online learning more than being in school in person. The world is beginning to move in this direction, becoming more reliant on technology and doing things virtually, so I think this is a smart move by MCPS,” Neguissie said.