Comparing in-person school now to pre COVID-19 times


Photo by Ryan Kunst

Students comply with regulations, remaining socially distant back in school.

As we all know, over the past year, all of Montgomery County learning has been virtual due to COVID-19. However, over the past three weeks, students and staff have slowly assimilated back into the building for in-person learning.

When COVID-19 hit suddenly, everyone was forced to adapt. The sudden change forced schools to go online, unknown of the return date.

As of Apr. 6, seniors with last names A-K went back in person for the first week. Seniors with last names L-Z went the following week. After that, school continued on the pattern of last names, adding in freshmen, sophomores and juniors to the mix.

Some students are in favor of in-person learning with regulations rather than school last year before COVID-19.

Students are in favor of starting school at 9:00 a.m. instead of 7:45 a.m. Further, they enjoy having smaller classes with easier accessibility for teachers’ help. Senior Connor Koch said, “I like school much better now with it starting at nine in the morning. The classes are also smaller, helping me stay focused and engaged. That also helps me create connections with my teachers and get help one-on-one.”

… I like the block schedule because it is fewer classes in the day, helping my homework load.”

— Sai Mandan

In addition to the time change and smaller classes, the block schedule has resulted in longer classes and extended lunch times. Sophomore Sai Mandan said, “Although the block schedule is long and it might be hard to stay focused, I like the block schedule because it is fewer classes in the day, helping my homework load. I get a lot of my homework done at lunch, so I like the long lunches.”

On the other hand, some students dislike the new school schedule and regulations.

Before COVID-19, the typical school schedule consisted of eight periods a day, including lunch. Classes were full of students and they did not have to wear masks. Junior Jenna Siman said, “Having eight periods in the day is better because they are shorter and we learn in every subject. With this new schedule, we learn something in class and don’t have a class for two days.”

Some students are opposed to wearing masks in school and stay engaged with the added time in class periods. Sophomore Ashlyn Fritz said, “I dislike school in-person because it is hard for me to stay engaged in classes with such long periods. Also, I don’t like wearing a mask for such long periods.”

Students both like school in-person with regulations and dislike it. For students in favor of school in-person with regulations, they like how classes are more one-on-one, lunches are extended, school start time is later and more time to do homework is given.

Students opposed to school in-person with new regulations dislike the lengthy periods, claim that it is more challenging to stay engaged, prefer more than four periods a day and dislike having to wear masks.