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School Year Approaches

Teachers, students, parents anxious for ‘normal’ year

By Colin Anderson

As life continues to return to normal, local school kids are hoping the same will hold true for the upcoming school year. While teachers all across the country did their best to keep their students not just on track academically, but socially, it is simply not possible to replicate the in-person school experience from afar. While some students did well with the responsibility of remote learning, others struggled to stay on task.

Parents, especially those with young children, are also eager to see a return to a more normal school year. Balancing work, often from home, with staying up to date on their child’s learning and finding time to take care of the other important aspects and daily tasks of life, was overwhelming at times. The school day provides a sense of routine in which both students and their parents can appreciate, and was something that might have been taken for granted previously.

As we prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, we take a moment to reflect and say thank you to the educators and administrators who worked tirelessly to adapt to ever-changing direction and protocol from local, state and federal officials. We heard from numerous teachers about their students’ resilience in the face of such adversity, and how they are coming out of the experience not just as adaptable learners but more compassionate toward each other, and more confident having undergone such a chaotic school year.

Very soon the sound of whistles blowing, helmets smacking and soccer balls being struck will again fill the after-school air as high school sports return. The ring of the bell and the ensuing commotion as younger children scramble outside of school, looking for their bus ride home or their parent’s minivan, there to meet them at the end of a full day. Even the sound of music, as bands and choirs reassemble in preparation of filling their schools auditoriums with beautiful music in front of a packed house.

As much of life has returned to pre-pandemic normal, school districts are still subject to more restrictions than most settings. Administrators are finalizing plans as they make final preparations to welcome students back full time, and if there was ever a year to keep up to date on the latest information, it is this one. Immunization, class size, cleaning procedures, masking and social distancing vary greatly from district to district, and even from elementary to high school. Visit your district’s website frequently so both you and your child are best prepared for what is to come this school year.

As summer closes, kids can look forward to being in a classroom, instead of in front of a screen. High fives and hugs can replace fist bumps and air slaps, and an upcoming school year that will hopefully resemble something we can call normal.

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