Reflections on the School’s Reopening

This School Year Has Presented a Multitude of Challenges

Prashaan Malwana, Freshman, Staff Reporter

The past six months have exhibited the most challenging and demanding crisis this nation has faced in years through COVID-19, and with schools reopening, more obstacles arise as staff rush to make safety arrangements for incoming students. Pelham Memorial High School reopened on September 17, with a plethora of safety and teaching procedures designed for students and teachers to have a more cautious but efficient physical learning experience. Staff members have expressed their various views towards the course of action taken for reopening.

“I have been so grateful for the optimistic, can-do spirit exhibited by our teachers, faculty, and students,” Mr. Mark Berkowitz, Pelham Memorial High School’s new principal said. “We are each responsible for one another–this ethos is evident throughout the PMHS on-site community where mask-wearing, maintaining social distance and using our desk guards has enabled us to have a smooth few weeks of hybrid learning.”  

While the incorporation of face masks, butcher paper on the desks, social distancing, and tri-fold white dividers have affected the learning experience and proven to be challenging, it has still proven to be better than expected for students.

“I enjoy hybrid learning because I’m able to see my friends while also staying safe from COVID-19”, said freshman Soroush Rassi. “It has really helped me in terms of academics because all the resources and study guides are right at my fingertips.”

Teachers, on the other hand, are faced with the challenge of giving attention to students on both the virtual and physical spectrum. Having students in two different places generally gives an unbalanced amount of attention towards physical students rather than an equal balance with either full virtual learning or full in-person learning.

“Seeing my students live every day is part of what keeps the classes interesting and personalized. Without you guys here in the room, it’s just not the same,” Mrs. Kiessling, a ninth-grade English teacher said. “That said, teaching to two different groups in two different venues definitely becomes double duty. In many ways, having students all in one place would certainly allow teachers to focus on one dynamic lesson as opposed to trying to juggle two at once.”

Nonetheless, presented with these circumstances, teachers and students alike have progressed and overcome these unusual obstacles together and will continue in stride for the rest of the year.