The Blended Return to School

By Teresa Zhang

September 17, 2020

Norwood students returned to school this August amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with plenty of new policies in place.

Students and staff have masked up, kept their distance and upped their cleaning game in a commitment to stay safe and keep learning. 

But while the new safety restrictions are meant to keep students and staff safe, student responses are less than enthusiastic at the changes implemented. Junior Violet Omiatek, has expressed frustrations about the lack of communication with teachers as a major issue, although she has acknowledged that virtual sessions through Google Meet have given her more clarity. 

Some of the high school staff, such as English teacher Ashley Martin, are more optimistic about the situation. 

“I think the small class sizes give me an opportunity to really get to know and help students one-on-one,” Martin explains. 

However, while she enjoys the advantages that smaller learning groups offer, Martin acknowledges the limitations of a socially distanced classroom, admitting that it has been harder to communicate to students through masks.  

When asked about her outlook on the new format, Principal Tina Acres remained hopeful, citing cooperation amongst staff and students as the key to success. She and the administration are currently proposing ideas on how to redesign after school activities to make them meet the constraints of social distancing guidelines. 

As Martin describes it, “[The high school is] taking it a day at a time.”