The Beginning of the 2020-21 School Year: A Series of Questions

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Emily Agans, Staff Writer

The continuous wait for news on the reopening of schools in the fall has many on the edge of their seats. Even with news of what other schools across the country are doing, students in Charles County wonder what’s going to happen to them come the first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year.

The main question students ask is if they’re going to be walking through the halls on the first day of school with their friends, or if they’ll still be at home doing the online classes they’ve been doing since March. When asked about what he thinks the beginning of the fall semester might look like, Matthew Butler, of the class of 2022 says, “As much as I wish we can physically go back to school, with the way things are going, we might be starting school online.” He goes on to worry about the quality of school if he were to go back, “If we were to come back, there’d have to be some serious safety measures like masks for all, physical distancing the desks, and then you have to worry about NEST. With all those concerns, I worry about the quality of school and if it’s even worth it to come back.”

Agreeing with him is a member of the class of 2021, Sarah Sbordone. “The current expectations of what ‘needs to happen’ is just too unrealistic. It’s upsetting, but it’s the truth.”

The follow-up question to this is what would school look like? Some schools have already announced that there will be block schedules for every other day. Others have already announced that the fall semester will be entirely online. Regen Berg, another member of the class of 2022, knows that school won’t look the same as her past two years at North Point High School. “I heard about other states doing a social distance for summer school, so maybe something like that?” She guesses, “How I remember it was basically classes were smaller, kids went to schools in ‘shifts’, spaces between desks, etc.”

Sarah Sbordone puts the spin of school lacking all the activities that made school fun. “There will be no Homecoming and no ‘spirit week’ and everything that makes the fall so exciting (football games, school events, etc.) will be cancelled.”

When Matthew Butler, Regan Berg, and Sarah Sbordone were asked what they think should happen in the fall, all agreed that they shouldn’t go back to school. “We should not be expected to return because the threat of Covid-19 is still out there. If someone were to get sick, that’d be the county’s fault. So, until the threat of Covid-19 is diminished, we should stay online.”

“It would be nice to go back to school, but for the safety of everyone online school should absolutely continue.” Regan Berg adds, “We shouldn’t put other people at risk just because we miss how life was and we’re bored.”