There’s enough already to fret over when the school season rolls around: summer work, school supplies, a decent wardrobe. But now with the epidemic on their hands, school anxiety for students has gained a record height. Between zoom classes and cohorts, teens have been scrambling to adjust to the new educational system, although most of the Hamden High family have taken these adjustments in stride.
“It’s definitely very different and it takes a little bit of getting used to,” remarked one Hamden student, “however, I am very happy to be back in school and I’m making the best of the situation!” Students are also glad to finally reconnect with each other (from six feet apart), as well as with teachers. “While it’s a bit stressful and I have to wash my hands more frequently, it’s nice to get to have a more personal relationship with teachers again!”
For others, hybrid learning doesn’t come so easily. It can be jarring switching back and forth between a screen and a classroom, and some students can’t connect as easily to teachers, especially if they’re doing full distance learning. Another Hamden High student stated, “It makes learning with ADHD ten times worse, but I like having smaller classes.” The high school definitely lost its homey appeal, no longer being decorated by club posters and peppy events, but instead one-way signs and mask reminders. “It sucks. I’m switching to full online,” bluntly stated another.
Hamden High School evidently isn’t the only school trying their best to get their students an adequate education while remaining safe at the same time. Sacred Heart Academy (SHA) recently had a coronavirus (COVID) scare, and is now just starting to reopen its doors. A SHA student explained, “It’s been hard transitioning from online to in-person, especially since there are lot of people at my school, and it feels different this year.” Other schools have been luckier, and are moving forward to make the school year as normal as possible. After a first few successful weeks, North Haven is switching over from the hybrid learning plan to full in-person schooldays. “My school has been doing very well with social distancing and wearing masks, but it will be a big adjustment to go in full time,” remarked a North Haven student.
While some believe that schools have done their best in regard to reopening with the dangers of COVID, most parents and students are still hesitant as to how much school administrators and boards are handling all of this. As one student said, “I appreciate the effort that the teachers are putting in to make our learning experience as normal as possible. However, central office needs to (pull themselves) together.” At Hamden High there has been trouble with laptops, schedules, and even WIFI. During the first week of hybrid learning, students at home couldn’t even get into their zoom classes because the school internet kept crashing. There is very little wiggle room for schedule changes, and many have extra study halls instead of requested electives.
Overall, Hamden has remained consistent with its fight against COVID, even though the school day is so very distorted. So long as our school dragons keep practicing social distancing and pushing forward, we will get through these challenging times!