Excitement and Anxiety Surrounds Returning Students
By Willa Reed
Last week, Scotts Valley schools opened up for partial in-person learning opportunities.
At Scotts Valley High School, the seniors set foot on campus first, returning after an entire year away — and a crazy year at that.
Students now go to school in person two days a week, while they continue to attend the other three days via Zoom. This transition from yearlong isolation fosters positive prospects and hope in students, but it’s a difficult adjustment.
After going back to school for her first day of senior year, Chloe Allen described the experience as “a weird mixture of excitement and anxiety.”
She was excited to see her teachers and peers in person for the first time in a year, but she said, “I was also anxious because I knew it wouldn’t feel like going back to normal school. It’s very different and yet another adjustment we’ve had to make.”
Many students feel conflicted with similar feelings.
“Going to school in person after a year was a very weird experience for me!” said senior Joelle Andrews. “It was just so weird to physically sit at a desk again. But honestly it was nice to feel that again before I go off to college. I’d say I liked it but it still doesn’t feel completely the same.”
Although returning to campus feels strange and new, teachers and staff hope it will provide students with a wonderful opportunity to re engage with one another and make up for lost time.
Senior events are beginning to restart and students can see their friends and meet their teachers in person, some for the first time ever.
“Hybrid was not too overwhelming like I had worried it would be,” said senior Brianna Campbell. “It was a super beautiful day outside, and a lot of fun to see everyone. It made me feel hopeful, which was nice.”
She added, “Especially as a senior, I just feel a sense of community with everyone at this point, so it was nice.”
A week after seniors returned to the high school, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen joined them.
This was a momentous occasion for the school since most freshmen had never even set foot on campus before, and sophomores were only at school for just over half a year before the shutdown.
For them, this adjustment of getting re-acclimated with the school is strange in a whole new way. Several students said they just missed the little things, like talking to a teacher after class or taking notes on actual binder paper.
“The strangest thing about going back had to be sitting at a desk,” said sophomore Ryan Lansdowne. “It was weird to sit at a desk after such a long time.”
Like most underclassmen, Lansdowne is hoping for good things to come of the new transition.
“I can’t wait to see how the next few months work out,” he said.
Certainly, transitioning from a whole year of fully online school to more familiar teenage life is proving to be difficult for the students.
However, returning to school presents opportunities for positive interactions with peers and teachers, and reminds the high school students that there is indeed a light at the end of the COVID tunnel.
What Will Graduation Be Like This Year?
That’s the question for parents after Scotts Valley High School welcomed students back to campus March 23 for hybrid instruction following a year of online lessons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hybrid instruction allows half the students on campus while half get online lessons at home, meeting the federal and state requirements for six feet of distance between desks to prevent the contagious coronavirus from spreading.
On March 19, federal officials announced that three feet between student desks provides safety in classrooms, and state officials agreed March 20. Scotts Valley will survey parents after spring break to assess comfort with three feet.
On March 24, Scotts Valley Unified School District Superintendent Tanya Krause alerted parents that she is awaiting state guidance on activities for graduating seniors and graduation ceremonies. “It is our intent to be able to provide our seniors as many opportunities as we are able,” she wrote.
The state posted graduation guidance on March 26.