By Cam Lawrence
Art by Hallie Anderson
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I have learned from past mistakes that this common saying is true. When something is going well, there is no reason to change it. 2020’s most common theme is change and adaptation, but when we find a system that works, I see no reason to try a new one.
On Oct. 2, students and parents received an email from the administration declaring a plan to bring the entire high school back to campus despite the successes of the first quarter’s hybrid model and low numbers of cases.
Head of Upper School, Ms. Rogers, and Head of School, Mr. Throckmorton, wrote in the email sent on Oct. 2, “The school will continue a proactive, data-driven approach …. We are putting a greater responsibility on Upper School students and families because of greater risks from both the virus and from social behavior within this age group.”
After testing occurred, the administration informed students that all sophomores and freshmen were welcomed back to school on Oct. 19.
On Friday, Oct. 23, another email was sent out by the administration, stating that the remainder of the high school would be welcomed back to in-person learning full-time.
Now that all students have been welcomed back to school, the mitigations are even more complicated. Some teachers have to teach in five different rooms a day to make sufficient space for the large number of students in their classes. Though some students and teachers are worried about lack of on-campus space, others are happy to be back full time and trust that the school is doing all it can to keep students safe.
McKinley Gilmore (12) said, “I'm not particularly nervous about [bringing everyone back]. I feel as though, with testing once a week, we will be able to catch cases early and prevent a widespread outbreak.”
It is true that bringing everyone back would help solve some of the frustrations of students. While freshmen have yet to experience a normal week of high school, seniors have been split apart from their friends in the first quarter of their last year of high school.
Freshman Sydney Shanker (9) said, “With everyone coming back to school, it will be a lot easier to have new experiences and create new friendships. I also think that coming back to school will make learning a bit easier… and [becoming] more involved in clubs. I am excited to take the next step, and I am so excited for the rest of my freshman year!”
While it is understandable that students want to meet new classmates and bond as a grade, I believe that right now the best way to ensure our classmates’ health and happiness is to follow all safety precautions and remain in the hybrid-learning system. The hybrid-learning system limits the number of students on campus making social distancing easier, and it allows for more control over large outbreaks of cases in other cohorts. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that hybrid learning is in the low to medium risk zone, where in-person classes are in the higher to highest risk zone.
I believe that if we continue for a little bit longer to follow the hybrid-learning system, that before the end of this school year the school will be able to open its doors and more assuredly welcome the high school students back to full-time in-person learning. Taking care of ourselves and our health is the priority this year, and if that means being separated from half of my grade, then I believe that is a sacrifice worth taking.
At the moment, there is no reason to rush anything. There is no reason to risk our health. Right now, the best advice to follow is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
For & By Students
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