Elementary v. High Schools: Covid-19 Edition

Elementary+v.+High+Schools%3A+Covid-19+Edition

Frederic J. Brown, Time

Marissa Walsh, Paw Print Co Editor in Chief

Masks, technological issues, one directional hallways, and many other challenges face students as they settle into the 2020-2021 school year. With a global pandemic looming above, many wonder if school will ever be the same. While teenagers have been through the school system long enough to know what “normal” is, how are the younger children dealing with this?

Norwalk High School, Brien McMahon, and the middle schools in the Norwalk Public Schools system, have implemented the hybrid learning method. Students are separated into two cohorts-by last name- that attend in person school on alternating days, while the other half learns remotely. This cuts the amount of students in schools in half, decreasing the spread of a possible Covid-19 outbreak. 

When asked how students and teachers at Norwalk High School are handling the whole situation, Principal Mr. Roberts replies, “I think teachers are doing great, and students are doing wonderfully.”

As for the elementary schools, students have the option to go to school, in person, every day. Since there is much less hallway traffic, and no need to switch classes in an elementary school, this is the ideal option for the system.

When asked how the elementary school students seem to be handling the Covid-19 restrictions placed on the school, Dr. Estrella, Superintendent of Norwalk Public Schools responds, “Children are fast learners. By day three they had adjusted, and have done a great job acclimating to the new normal. It’s amazing how well they’ve adapted.”

It is encouraging to hear that children are finding upsides to the pandemic, like showing off their colorful masks, playing socially distanced games, and having interactions with other students and their teachers. 

So, while it is unclear how long this pandemic may last, it is reassuring to know that schools are handling this chaotic situation with the utmost seriousness. For elementary schools, starting off an educational journey in this way is not exactly ideal, and for high school students, being on the tail end of it is also very upsetting. Young or old, pushing through the pandemic is not easy, but this will pass, and with hope, all will be normal again.