• Anna McLean

Back to School

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

August 25th and August 26th, 2020, students and staff headed back to school for the first time since March 13th, 2020. The appearance of COVID-19 prevented students from returning to school to finish off the 2020 year. But the Lakers are back for their 2020-21 school year and are better than ever. The first 3 weeks of the school year started off strong with students returning on a hybrid schedule: alternating in-person learning one day with virtual learning from home the next. Following the first 3 weeks of school, the school board voted to return to in-person full-time, but with block scheduling. With all the new adjustments to figure out ways to keep students safe, but provide the best learning environment possible, our “normal” school lives have had to change.

Following the return of being able to be back in school came new safety protocols in order to guarantee the safety of students and staff. Masks are now mandatory when within the building, plexiglass is seated between all seats in the cafeteria, students are to sanitize their hands prior to and at the end of each class period, and of course, physical distancing of no less than three feet between individuals at all times.

An anonymous student says, "Social distancing has been really weird. It's weird not to be able to sit right next to your friends during class or at lunch. It's also been hard to get used to wearing masks, but in my opinion, being back in school is better than being fully virtual, so I can't complain too much."

One particularly unique aspect of transitioning to block scheduling is that our teachers have collectively decided collectively to begin taking “mask breaks”. Due to the 140 minute long classes we now have, teachers believe it is necessary to take breaks, for not only the students’ mental health, but for the teachers’ as well. In each class, teachers will typically take one or two 5-10 minute mask breaks outside, weather permitting, while maintaining physical distancing rules. This adjustment has been extraordinarily beneficial to the productivity of students and staff, and to the learning environment of Spring Lake High School as a whole.

Students and staff are still adjusting to these new implementations, but allow me to speak for all of Spring Lake Schools when I say it has been worth it. Students and staff are no less than ecstatic to have returned to a somewhat “normal” school life. Going wholly virtual in the spring was nothing short of a challenge, but with circumstances of a global pandemic, we have come to show it is nothing Spring Lake can’t handle.

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