An Abnormal School Year

An Abnormal School Year
Posted on 10/22/2020
This is the image for the news article titled An Abnormal School Year


An Abnormal School Year


by Caroline Gould, Rachael Crossman,
and Emily Sykes
on September-October

Granville Jr./Sr. High School is a public, secondary school located in the small-town of Granville, New York. Grades seventh through twelfth attend school here, making the amount of students approximately 550. The school itself is not small, seeing how a good number of students from bordering Vermont towns contribute a decent number of those 550 students. Although, this school year the 550 students that attend Granville High School, have yet to be in the building at the same time. Back in March, when COVID-19 started to shut down schools, no one would have ever thought we would still be experiencing the uncertainty, chaos, and changes still to this day. The past seven months have all been a waiting game.  After following state guidelines and regulations, some of Granville students were able to physically go back to school. The teachers, staff, and administration at Granville truly devoted all their time and thought into the reopening of our school. September 9th marked the first day students were in the building since the closure in March. Although, being that September 9th was on a Wednesday, the seventh graders enrolled at Granville were the only students physically at school. Wednesdays at Granville High School are considered “office hours.” Grades eighth through twelfth attend school virtually. The virtual Wednesdays allow for proper sanitation and a time where students can catch up on work. The first five weeks of the school year, grades eighth through tenth returned to school only two days a week. Depending on their last name, some students would go Monday, Tuesday (A-L) or Thursday, Friday (M-Z). When students are not in school, they are expected to be present via Google Meet, which is always turned on for those learning at home. Some students have even chosen to do remote learning for the remainder of the school year. While grades 8, 9, and 10 returned to school on their given day, the Juniors and Seniors were at home, learning virtually through Google Meets. October 13th marked the first day of in-person school for the Juniors and Seniors. Currently the ninth and tenth graders are all learning remotely. Our school's plan in allowing certain grades to return at different times, was a good way social distancing guidelines could be followed. In the high school, masks are worn the majority of the time unless students or teachers are seated, hallways are marked to remain six feet apart, and gyms are filled with desks to provide a place where Study Halls can be held as well as where students can go if they do not have internet at home. None of this is ideal, but the Granville School District has created a well-thought out plan to fulfill their students' education.

Seniors

Seniors throughout the entire U.S. are being shorted of the fun filled experiences and even the “normalcy” of their last year of high school. COVID-19 has changed how we live and especially how we go to school and interact with one another. Many of the senior classes, including Granville, are beginning their senior year fully remote. Classes are attended via Google Meet. Although we have high hopes of things going back to normal for us, there is no guarantee that it will. We have interviewed a couple seniors at Granville Jr./Sr. High School and got their input on the 2020/2021 school year. Their responses to be followed.






Cassie, Senior @ Granville High School

Our first interviewee, Cassie Weeden, was very optimistic about the start of our school year. Despite all the challenges

we are facing she is “looking forward to getting back to school”, and she does believe that things will go back to normal if all guidelines are followed. Cassie is 

confident in our school’s reopening plan and in her opinion,she thinks that they have devised a “safe, well-thought out plan” and that it is working well. She does, however, wish that we were the first students to go back, but understands the younger

kids may need more guidance and time in school. When asked if this situation has affected her future plans in any way, she responds with, “it did not impact much”. Cassie still has all the same goals and plans in mind. It just makes things a little more

difficult in terms of meeting with our guidance counselor and getting help that way. Cassie does not think virtual learning is ideal, although she accepts it because we still experience some

interaction with our teachers and peers, but unfortunately it will never compare to actually being in school.  

 


Myles Pauquette, Senior @ Granville High School

Our second interviewee, Myles Pauquette, has some similar and some different opinions as Cassie. We asked Myles his opinion on what he thinks the state could do to improve the normalcy of our senior year. He says that he doesn’t believe they can do much because, and I quote, “it’s all a waiting game”. He says if people continue to wear masks and remain six feet apart, the process of this being over will speed up. Myles is confident in our school’s reopening plan. He has high hopes of things going back to normal after a vaccine is made. He is not nervous about going back to school, rather, he is excited and looking forward to making the most of what he can of his senior year. Myles says that virtual learning is the best alternative to our situation, although he very much wishes he could be in school. This situation has not affected Myles future plans and he does not think that it will. Myles believes that allowing the younger students to be the first to attend school was the right decision because he views it as us seniors being given the opportunity of getting our grades up and finishing our last year of high school with a bang. 


Effective Methods to Reach All Students

All of our teachers are very flexible and lenient with the ways in which students learn best through these trying times. Every teacher teaches via Google Meets. The first five weeks every Junior and Senior was fully remote. Now that we are beyond the five week point, half of each grade attends school two days out of the week. This is different but beneficial in the means of social distancing and following our state’s guidelines. While half of the students are in the classroom receiving in person instruction, the other half of the class stays remote and learns from home. Both virtual and in-person students receive the same instruction. The virtual students log on to a Google Meet hosted by the teacher of the class and receive the material being taught to the students that are in the classroom. Teachers tend to the students in school as well as the online students simultaneously. Although this is not ideal, it is the best alternative for the situation we are in. Homework and other assignments are given through Google Classroom with set directions and due dates. All teachers have done an exceptional job about checking their emails to respond to any questions or concerns from their students and the parents. All notes and information taken and received during class are typically posted on the Google Classroom as well. The notes provided in Classroom give students a chance to reflect back on what was discussed in class, in case there was any confusion or missed information. In terms of a student struggling or needing extra guidance, the teachers are very helpful with setting up private Google Meets for a one-on-one session to help the student. Our teachers are truly trying to give us a somewhat normal year. There are even desks being made for virtual learning students to help them stay focused and to give them a healthy learning environment while being at home. Some students have chosen to stay virtual throughout the entirety of the school year. There are also options for students to come into the school full time if they do not have adequate materials or internet connection in their homes. Some students use their Chromebook to complete their work and attend the Google Meets from the Internet Cafe that is located in what our school calls the “Junior High” gym. The teachers and our school officials are most certainly going above and beyond and doing their best with reaching all students' needs. They are making sure all students at Granville receive the education they need and deserve. Despite the difficulties, time consumption, and uncertainty, they have truly given nothing but their best.