Just Kidding: The 2021-2022 School Year

Many across Wake County, and even across the world felt sick of online learning after the 2020-2021 school year.

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Many across Wake County, and even across the world felt sick of online learning after the 2020-2021 school year.

  Is the end anywhere in sight? Do we have to admit that this is the “new normal?” No matter how cliche this phrase has become, many in the Wake County Public School System community believe this is in fact the new standard of normal.

  Early June of 2021 marked the end of the Wake County school year. Certain Sanderson High School students, and many others, had a very different outlook of how the 2021-2022 school year would operate.

  “During the summer, with the pandemic trends, I did not think we would have to wear masks in school. As of now though, I think we will have to wear them for a while.” Speculated Jordan Davis, 11th grader at SHS. From April through early summer, vaccine numbers hit their peak in the States, as many of us thought during this time that school would look much different come August 2021.

  As mask mandates diminished for many states during the May to June time period, students and teachers alike hypothesized the 2021-2022 school year would look much different. By July 4th, roughly 4.3 million North Carolinians were fully vaccinated. To say the least, this led many people in the Wake County Public School System to believe school would look drastically different from the 2020-2021 school year.

  “I was hopeful, but when the numbers started to go back up, I thought we would have more of the same. I also believe that there would have been even more restrictions this year.” Sanderson High School Career Development Coordinator Traci Claiborne continued. “I think students are doing a great job for the most part at adapting to the rules we have in place.”

  School restrictions aside, early and mid August COVID trends suggested that online school could be a possibility; however, considering that less than 100 Sanderson students opted for the Online Academy option, it is safe to say the majority of Sanderson and Wake County students alike were itching for in person interaction and learning. 

  Sanderson Spartan junior Grace Paradise offers a student’s perspective on this matter.“At the end of last year, I wouldn’t have chosen online school, because I like seeing my friends, and not just sitting at home.” Across the world, students have agreed with Paradise’s opinion.

  Constant complaints about online learning consist of the overwhelming workload, learning new topics being impossible, and school feeling inescapable online.

  As Paradise highlights, students and teachers across Wake County were not so satisfied with the online learning setup of last year’s school year. If there is any silver lining in this predicament, it is that those who enjoyed the online school experience were able to do the same this year; as those who prefer the in school experience are currently in school, but in a modified fashion. 

  Both students and teachers are both relieved and exhilarated to get back into in person learning, though, there still exists fears of possible virus spreading within close proximity. Sanderson High School German and Latin teacher recalls his thoughts during the summer, and his current perspective on the matter.

  “In early June, I thought more would get the vaccine, and that we would be able to get back to almost normal.” Wachter reckons. “I’m scared of the cafeteria, I believe that the behavior of the cafeteria is not the best. We cannot say this whole situation is over by any means.”

  At the end of the day, many throughout the country want this ¨new normal¨ to come to an end. The fact of the matter is that students and teachers alike, for the most part, learn and teach better in an in-person environment, while those who prefer the online option are able to continue down that path. In the long run, all we can do is guess.