In person learning isn’t what it used to be

Signs+in+the+hallways+remind+students+and+faculty+to+social+distance.

Photo by Alexa Vinner

Signs in the hallways remind students and faculty to social distance.

Students began streaming into Montgomery County school doors Mar. 1 after nearly a year of virtual learning, but the new in person experience didn’t meet every students’ expectations. 

Throughout the reopening of schools, Covid safety has continued to be a top priority for MCPS. Desks are six feet apart, masks are required, water fountains are no longer in use and numerous other safety protocols have been put into place, including “face coverings, physical distancing and frequent hand-washing will be required to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” superintendent Jack Smith said. 

It is a very different experience than what I was used to school being like before the pandemic.”

— Lyndsie Lewis

The new covid restrictions have changed how schools have operated in the past. Students now have the option to go to school in person every other week, while Wednesdays are asynchronous. “It is a very different experience than what I was used to school being like before the pandemic,” sophomore Lyndsie Lewis said. 

Some students were excited to hear of the reopening of schools. “I was really happy when I heard we would have the option to go back in person because I wanted to meet my teachers and felt like I would learn better in school,” freshman Alexa Vinner said. 

Others choose to continue with virtual learning and do school at home via Zoom. “I considered going back to school but I’ve become used to my routine at home and didn’t think in person would be much better since a majority of the class would still be on Zoom,” freshman Danielle Ram said. 

Most classes average seven or eight students in person while the majority of the class is joined on Zoom. Teachers have to juggle teaching their Zoom students as well as their students in the classroom with them. “I was a little disappointed because sometimes in person school felt the same as virtual because we were still being taught through Zoom but I think overall it’s a better experience,” Vinner said. 

MCPS has announced that the 2021-2022 school year will look different. They will provide an in person, five day a week schedule for the fall. Covid restrictions have begun to be lifted, as it is no longer required to wear a mask during outdoor high school sports events and there is no limit to the number of spectators per player. Students can look forward to a school year closer to what they had experienced pre-pandemic and less covid restrictions as the county continues to get vaccinated.