Students and teachers have been out of a school building since early March, but the summer months have felt incredibly short, as they’re already starting to come to a close. With this, plans for the following school year are starting to come into place. In a survey done by the Greeley-Evans School District, 2,432 parents (out of the sampled 3,722) wish for their children to return to in-person learning for the upcoming school year. For the parents who don’t feel comfortable, the district is offering online learning to those who need it.
Even more than parents, students are looking forward more than ever to returning back to school, after 5 months of ‘spring break.’ One of these students is Lea Anderson, a rising senior at University Schools.
Lea is heavily involved in the performing arts program, participating in both choir and band. She’s had to miss numerous music festivals and performances, along with dance lessons and recitals due to COVID-19. This disappointing loss, along with a dislike for completely remote learning, has made her ready to go back to school this fall.
The typical online experience for high schools in District 6 has been individual work and online meetings through platforms such as Zoom or Google Meets. Online learning occurred through most of the stay-at-home order earlier this spring. A big problem for remote learning was the lost motivation to complete work. “I felt I couldn’t focus or motivate myself,” Lea said.
Something that many students have missed with online learning is the opportunity to see their friends and other family members. While school is about learning, students also rely on the social interactions with each other to make their experiences more enjoyable. Along with that, students have missed being in a physical learning environment. “It really helps me to have a place of work. When I’m at school, I focus on school,” Lea says.
Most of all, our rising seniors are especially wanting to go back to in person learning. It’s their last chance to see their friends and do all the activities they wanted, which is what the previous class of 2020 missed out on last spring. Lea knows that in-person learning will look different this year, but she’s willing to sacrifice the old normal in order to get back into school. “I look forward to asking questions immediately and having someplace to go every day.”
Students will be needing masks in order to return to in-person learning. The Success Foundation is currently trying to raise $30,000 to buy 13,000 adult masks and are relying on the community to make the other 7,000 child sized masks.