RCMS students and staff adjusting to 5 days a week in person

Students+wait+to+buy+lunch.

Students wait to buy lunch.

Dhara Mudras

Students and teachers at FCPS have dealt with many changes only a month into the school year, from a new assignment system to having all students back in the building.

Mr. Steven Davis, an English teacher at RCMS said that while the first day of school was overwhelming, it was nice to have all the students back in the building.

Anshika Basal, an eighth-grader, said her first day of school was confusing, but her teachers were welcoming and it was nice to meet them.

“Most of my classes are fun and chill,” she said.

Ms. Aubrey Franco, also an English teacher, said that before the first days before school started, she was worried, but excited. She said there was a lot of unknown about the start of the school year before it started, and once it did, there were a lot more opportunities and chances to build better relationships.

Andrew Bedell, also an eighth grader at RCMS, said that his first day was a learning experience for everyone. He said that it’s taken a while to get used to all the students in the building, such as the long kiss and ride line and the long lunch line. Andrew remains optimistic, calling this month the “trainer month,” and thinks everything will eventually settle down.

However, there’s still a lot of changes that staff and students are struggling with.

Ms. Franco said that a big change for the students would be the constant transitions, not having enough time last year to get used to everything in the building and then eighth graders having to transition to high school next year.

The change from Google Classroom to Schoology has been an adjustment for teachers and students, as well as not having Daily Assignment Books to write down homework in. Anshika also says that it’s difficult to wake up early in the morning for school now that students have been online for so long. 

Students have also struggled with regular routines and rules in the building, like getting to class on time and being ready to learn. Ms. Franco said that asynchronous Mondays were nice, and if we have extra snow days at the end of the year, she would like to see those turn to asynchronous Mondays.

“Mondays were great, and I wish we had more of them,” she said.

Anshika said that a noticeable change between online school and in-person school is how students act in general, being more talkative and social than they were online.

Andrew agreed, adding, “Most of my friends are much more talkative and social in-person.”

Mr. Davis and Ms. Franco also agreed that students are willing to share and answer questions now that they’re in person versus the awkward silences of online school. 

Andrew said that he found his teachers excited to meet their students, such as Ms. Ross, who has made her classroom a fun environment, and Mr. Bolt, who he said is enthusiastic and energetic every class. However, Andrew also said that Covid has made school harder, him not being able to see his friends as much, and making it harder to talk to new people. Ms. Franco said that the environment in her classes depended on the period and class in general, some classes being incredibly lively and some classes being quiet and calmer.

Mr. Davis said that he found himself going faster now that we’re back in-person, teaching online being slower. Ms. Franco said that teaching online and in-person at the same time made it hard to focus evenly on both groups. Another thing she found difficult was having students share in groups.

She said, “I understand that it was hard to share online, to a microphone, not knowing the people you were talking to, but now that we’re in person, it’s a lot easier to get students to share.”