Life is different than ever before, forcing Pascack Valley students to adjust to new school schedules and protocols.
While I was excited to start my sophomore year of high school, I didn’t realize it would be mostly virtual. The idea of two cohorts seemed like a reasonable plan, but the first time PV closed, I realized it was unrealistic.
I can’t speak for other students, but I have been less motivated to do school work virtually compared to an in-person schedule. I get more work done and retain more information when I am in an in-person class rather than when teachers give me worksheets to do on my own at home.
I also enjoy the structure of in-person learning because when I am in school, I am not distracted by my phone, parents, pets, or anything else that could pull my focus away from my schoolwork. Face-to-face learning in the building gives students a chance to connect with their teachers and ask more questions. It could be awkward or uncomfortable to ask questions on a GoogleMeet with 20 other students in it.
When the school closed for the first time on Oct. 16, my whole schedule flipped around because it became confusing figuring out when to meet with my teachers and if assessments were canceled. This happened again when PV went fully remote on Nov. 11.
Our school district has done a fairly good job of trying to keep everyone safe, placing hand sanitizer on every wall and cleaning up after school; however, the main glitch in this system is that the school can’t control what students do outside of the building.
Some people forget or ignore the main instructions to wear masks, keep six feet apart, and use hand sanitizer periodically. I know a lot of people want coronavirus to go away and life to go back to normal, but it is still important to follow these guidelines – if not for one’s own safety, then for other people’s as well.
Students also participate in sports inside and outside of school, which could cause a safety concern for in-person school days.
I practice lacrosse with a club team outside of school every week, and we have been very cautious when it comes to coronavirus rules and regulations. All players have to bring a slip with a checklist of symptoms and their whereabouts from the past week, while they also take each player’s temperature at every practice. On top of this, we also wear masks the whole time we are together and keep a distance of six feet while off the field.
It is essential for PV students not to settle into “pandemic fatigue” – forgetting the rules and regulations in this second wave of coronavirus. Please wear a mask, keep a six-foot distance, use hand sanitizer, and stay safe.