In Person Learning Returns for Staff and Students
School districts all over the country have been taking different approaches to getting back to a normal school life. Nutley Public Schools have officially begun reopening schools again starting in February for teachers and in March for students at all levels. As opinions arise on whether or not returning to in person school is a good idea; Vice Principal Joseph Materia, history teacher Mrs. Nicole David, and a freshman Jessica Ostrowski share their opinions and how they’re beginning to prepare for the start of this in person school year.
Vice Principal Mr. Materia spoke on this topic to a Maroon & Gray reporter about how students should prepare themselves and the precautionary measures. He explains how from what he has observed, all students and teachers are trying hard to make the most out of this year stating, “Our teachers have worked diligently to create new learning environments and our students are trying to acclimate.”
Mr. Materia also shares how students should prepare themselves for coming to school. “The first step students should take would be to review the addendum to the student handbook, which explains the parameters of the hybrid schedule. Next, students should alter their routines so that they can get to school on time for the 1st period of instruction, 9:10AM. Also, students should make sure that they have their face masks at all times.”
Along with following the guidelines of wearing face coverings, there are more measures being taken. Vice Principal Materia explains there will be a screening process before each student or teacher enters the building. In addition, the custodians will be constantly disinfecting all surfaces. The hybrid scheduling will also lessen the amount of students in the building.
Most teachers have needed to alter their lesson plans due to school being fully virtual so far this year. Now, since school will be going to a hybrid schedule, lessons may be changing again. Mrs. Nicole David, a history teacher explained how due to using technology in the past it has not been extremely difficult. She also discussed how each class and student is different so lesson plans differ for each class. She believes, “Not too much should change when we switch to hybrid learning since a large percentage of the class will still be home. Once we have been in the classroom for a week, I will have a better understanding of how it will work and any modifications that are needed.” To best benefit her students, “The key is being flexible and making sure the students' are learning what they need to learn.”
The fear of the virus spreading is a fear many individuals have. Mrs. David says she knows she will be taking all safety precautionary measures to their full extent. “I will be following the guidelines that the school has established to make sure everyone is safe.”
Jessica Ostrowski, a freshman at NHS believes that she will learn better in person rather than online. She states, “I think this because there will be less distractions compared to a home setting.” She also explains how she is worried about spikes in Covid-19 cases. Yet, Jessica believes students should return to an in person school environment soon. Along with many other students, Jessica has been trying her best with fully virtual learning. She has stayed organized and turns in all work on time.
By taking all precautionary measures, students will hopefully be able to return to in person learning without cases rising. Students and staff will continue to work hard and in conjunction with the new hybrid scheduling.