Students Reflect on the Return to In-Person Learning

Students+gather+outside+the+main+entrance+after+school.

Eman Abdurezak

Students gather outside the main entrance after school.

Tavien Pollard, Audio & Visual Editor

As the fall season approaches, school is finally back in session. News from the past few weeks has been full of many different back-to-school stories from across the country, as students finally return to the classroom full-time. For some cities and states, the transition back to school has been a success story that proves we can safely participate in in-person learning amidst a pandemic—for others, it has proven to be more challenging. Although locally we haven’t had enough time to truly judge how the return to the classroom is going, here are some first impressions from CRLS students.

So far, the general consensus among upperclassmen seems to be positive, as students are able to see their friends again and be part of the CRLS community. When asked what his favorite part of the first day of school was, Adam Gould ’23 said, “Being social, seeing people that I haven’t seen for a year and a half; I was pretty strict with my CO-VID [restrictions], so I didn’t hang out with a lot of people.” Sabrina Shing ’22 gave a similar statement, remarking, “This year, I am looking forward to reconnecting with the people I haven’t seen in such a long time.”

The sentiment is different when talking to freshmen and sophomores who haven’t yet had a “normal” school year at CRLS. Many are optimistic about going into school for the first time, while others are more pessimistic, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the stress of entering a new environment.

Many are optimistic about going into school for the first time, while others are more pessimistic, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the stress of entering a new environment.”

Freshman Matteo Roy is excited about his experience as he states that, “[my first day was] not exactly as I thought it would be. I thought it was going to be much more chaotic in the hallways with people getting lost and bumping into each other. People did get lost, but I thought it was going to be worse.” He also mentioned that, coming from an independent middle school, he is excited to meet new people and make more friends coming into CRLS. The most common concern voiced by most CRLS students is that of the pandemic. While many are excited about being social again, COVID-19 is still at the forefront of that discussion. When asked how the first day of school was by the Register Forum, many students included a mention of COVID safety in the first sentence of their response. In her initial reply, Shing said that, “In person, it was a little bit overwhelming, not gonna lie, especially during lunch. It felt like there were way more people than usual. But, overall it was good.” She also mentioned an uncertainty about how safety precautions during lunch will work in the winter when people won’t be able to be outside as much.

However, even amidst the concerns, students seem to feel relatively safe as the community is adhering to the rules put in place by the school. Shing feels pretty safe at school stating, “Everyone is wearing their masks which is nice. And the teachers seem fairly strict with it, so all is well.” It is important to note that CRLS did report its first COVID-19 case of the school year on September 17th, although it is unknown if that case was transmitted in school.

This piece also appears in our September 2021 print edition.