The 2020-2021 school year is the first academic year coexisting with a global pandemic. As classes have started online and in-person for some, the feeling of confusion and uncertainty is understandably in the air. Flexibility and cooperation from students, parents, teachers, and even administration is a necessary skill to have now more than ever and with the first few weeks of school down, is a skill that will seemingly linger to get through such an unprecedented time.
A Change is Coming
Everywhere you go posters of precautionary steps to stay safe are plastered, ‘masks required’ signs, before you enter nearly anywhere are displayed, and the phrase ‘6 feet’ will never just be a unit of measure again and holds a whole new meaning. Though overwhelming at times, these changes are necessary to ease our way back into a new normal while staying safe. COVID-19 has changed life as we know it and school has shown to not be immune to this change. Zoom meetings have emulated classrooms and are where students first met their teachers and classmates this year. Where there were once rowdy pep rallies and jammed football games with the student section packed like a can of sardines now lies live-streamed Friday night games and quiet gyms. The laughter and murmur in the halls and cafeteria during advisory and passing periods may be a little quieter this year, but, one thing holds true: we will get through this.
COVID-19 has become controversial in a way and even politicized as the virus progresses, but, lives are on the line and safety comes first no matter one’s opinion. Though there is a lot that is unknown experts do know enough for guidelines that the Frisco Independent School District and school are following. Classrooms look a lot different with desks spread out, the halls are no longer flooded as the passing period times are to be staggered, and students are to be tracked and limited to halls. No more long lunch lines as all meals are packaged, and masks now cover students’ and teachers’ faces. The FISD website holds more information on the plan and procedure for in-person classes as they begin and though it’s unknown how things will progress or work out “different” will be a strong theme for the year.
All students started the school year online; however, some opted for online classes throughout the semester and participated in Virtual Academy. Though scheduled Zoom classes and online assignments were expected one thing caught many off guard: attending different campuses. This confusion resulted in several questions like what going back to home campus would look like, if students would be on track if they chose to go in-person in October, if they’d have to go to the school they were placed in, and finally the plain question of why. Again, flexibility is a necessary attribute to have during these times and the FISD School Year Guidance answers some of these questions, explaining the synchronous classes and their models.
Change is hard to come by. Being human comes with the instinct to find patterns, stick to them, and find a routine. But, this pandemic has affected everyone all over the world and forced change into every single person’s life. This year is not going to be close to normal or the same, but the hope of getting through and prevailing must be something that’s held onto tightly.