A Look Into Fourth Quarter With a month left of school, students, faculty are wrapping up the year with hybrid learning

Hoping to finish the year off strong, students are preparing for final exams and teachers are wrapping up course content work. “After all the hard work everyone put in this year, I think everyone is excited for summer,” sophomore Luke Gil said. “So many things were different and we are looking towards a break.”

Continuing on with fourth quarter, students are finally getting used to the schedule and are readying for the end of the semester.  

“It has been great seeing kids in person again,” counselor Elizabeth Hare said. “Schools are meant to be buzzing with student chatter, bells ringing, and teachers greeting students into their classrooms. Although it isn’t the same as in the past, I can feel it starting to get back to normal.”

Going back to school has been well-received and many students find that there are social and educational benefits to returning. 

“I really enjoy being back at school even if there still aren’t that many people going,” sophomore Lillie Newton said. “I’ve already made a few new friends and I’m connecting with my teachers way more. This is my first year here and the campus is awesome and I can’t wait to go back full time. It’s a little weird being here with only like four kids in each classroom, but I’ve already seen an improvement in my work.”

Recently, parents received an email about registration for the 2022 school year. Students have a choice of returning to in-person classes five days a week, or online classes five days a week.

“Throughout this year I don’t think I learned any material well enough in any of my classes,” sophomore Luke Gil said. “I really don’t like online school, but I was worried about returning to the building because of getting my girlfriend and family sick. Now that I have the choice of returning next year full-time, I definitely think I’ll be going back. I learn better in the traditional school setting, so it’ll help more in the long run.”

Starting high school is always nerve-racking, but for current freshmen it’s a whole new experience. Students haven’t been able to walk the halls and learn their way around, so as they begin in person education next year, it will be as if they are freshman again. 

“I’m really nervous to be a sophomore being that I’ve never been to the school,” freshman Laynie Bliven said. “But I’m excited because I pushed myself to take all honors classes, as well as the fact that I’m ecstatic to have a good friend group! I think this year, I’ve set myself up for success in the following years, so I’m really excited to see how it all plays out.”

Students enrolled in AP and Jumpstart courses are preparing for their exams with the added option of taking it in-person or online. 

“I’m a little worried for my upcoming AP Human Geography exam, I think we all are,” sophomore Margaret Lambert said. “Even though Ms. Kelly is a great teacher, the online environment has been really challenging for me. Teachers are offering study sessions on Saturdays, where we go to a meet and go over certain vocabulary terms and topics we’ll need for the test.”

Although senior year has been a disappointment for most, unlike the graduating class of 2020, seniors this year will be able to have an in-person graduation with all of their peers at the Orleans Arena.

“I’m not too upset about it, I just think that it may be a smaller audience considering the circumstances,” senior Shaymaa Dahrouch said. “I really don’t like the fact that we can’t be around friends and take pictures and even be around each other due to the social distancing mandate in place. I think that it’s sad since we wouldn’t be going to a nicer place than the Orleans for graduation and we can’t make proper ‘goodbye’ memories. It’ll probably be the same as last year, no speeches, just a quick run up to grab our diplomas.”

Now with only a month left, students and teachers alike are anticipating summer break after a long and challenging school year.

“I think the biggest difference, and it’s particularly noticeable for me as a new teacher, is that everyone knows we’re on the downhill slide,” fashion teacher Levi Harbeson said. “The students and other teachers are excited because we can feel summer break just around the corner. This is silly, but I’ve also noticed that the students are more awake during periods one and two, because the sun is actually up. Waking up and being a functional human is so much easier when the sun is shining.”