By: Jayden Neidell
After seven months of hybrid and remote learning, the students of Half Hollow Hills are finally coming back to school full-time! Starting March 15th, Half Hollow Hills students gradually returned to school five days a week. Throughout the following weeks, more and more students came back to school full-time. Each week, the halls have become more lively, classrooms have become more full, and friends have reunited after the long months of being separated between green and blue cohorts.
While this is exciting news and something that many people have been looking forward to since the beginning of the pandemic, it is important that many actions are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school. Certain protocols that have been in place since the start of the school year still remain in effect, such as the use of one-way hallways and the requirement of wearing a mask and placing shields on desks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just recently announced that students can be three feet apart in classrooms. However, this is only possible if students are wearing their masks properly and are surrounded by shields. Although more students are allowed into a classroom now as a result of this new rule released by the CDC, a full class size of 28 students still can not fit into a classroom. Instead, only 22 students are allowed per room. The “overflow” students are selected at random each day by their teachers and sent to the lecture hall to attend their class via Zoom.
Personally, I had mixed emotions about returning to school five days a week. I was excited to finally meet my classmates who I only had the opportunity to communicate with on Zoom, but I was also nervous as I have never experienced the hallways of High School East at 100% capacity. However, while the halls definitely felt much more compact, it was not an issue for me. My first day back began with an extremely long drop-off line, extending all the way through the parking lot and onto Vanderbilt Parkway. The line didn’t take too long, but it was definitely a lesson learned! By the time I reached the front doors of High School East, I received a text from my friend saying our seats were “stolen” in our first-period class. However, the day ended much better than it started. I entered each class with a large smile on my face, happy to finally see not only my friends from other cohorts but new classmates that I have never previously met. The halls felt alive, and classrooms felt more lively. It was an experience that I have been longing for ever since school shut down in March of last year, and I am so happy that the time has come to be back in school full-time. The day genuinely felt like my first day of school all over again, and it will definitely be the first day that I will never forget.