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Half-and-Half learning

By: Allison Foley (Reporter ‘21)

At the start of the second semester, FCS offered the option for students to return to in-person classes, but this time for five days a week rather than the previous hybrid schedule. Though many students opted to come into school, a lot chose to remain learning virtually. This new way of learning has been new and different not only for students, but for teachers as well, and it is interesting to see how everyone is adjusting.

As part of the in-person learning, many classes are being held in rather unconventional locations (although very few things seem ‘unconventional’ these days). Some classes are in tents in front of the Main Building while others are in the Language Building Atrium or even on Zoom in the pods that we have been assigned to.

Those who have chosen to go to school in person are certainly experiencing a bit of a routine shock. Things that many of us got used to during online school, like waking up later or seeing family members in between classes, are no longer. Now that we’re back in school, we have had to somewhat revert back to our routines when we were going to school normally back in March. It is strange to think that something we have done our whole lives is all of the sudden new again for us.

The 11th grade pod

In-person school is also inevitably different than how school felt before COVID. Of course, masks must be worn and distance must be kept from one another which can feel odd in a school environment. For safety reasons, the cafeteria is also not serving food, which is another great difference.

However different it may feel, in-person school has brought back the social interaction that many of us have missed dearly for almost a year now. Little things like conversations with classmates in between classes or walking through the oval on a sunny day are moments that are so nice to finally have back.

Those who have opted to stay home are also experiencing some changes. Before, when all students were online there was no need for a teacher to jump back and forth between the students in the classroom and the students on the Zoom; everyone was on the Zoom. But now, class can feel a little bit choppy, or even confusing, as students and teachers adjust to this half-and-half class structure. It can be difficult to accommodate both in-person and online students, and I think it's something that we, as a school community, are learning about more and more each day.

But, regardless of our division into online students and in-person students, there are times when everyone can come together again like our weekly Meetings for Worship as well as school-wide assemblies over Zoom. Many teachers have also figured out ways to project online students onto a screen for the in-person students to see, so that we can feel together even if we aren’t.

School feels a little unusual right now, but in times like this, everything seems to feel that way. Whether you have decided to come to school in person, or remain learning virtually, I hope that the transition into the second semester has been smooth, and I hope that as it progresses we can find ways to make it the best we possibly can!

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