On Thursday, the Wake County School Board once again delayed the shift to Plan B hybrid learning for high schoolers, and voted to keep all K-12 students in virtual learning until at least mid-February. Though many students had high hopes of being able to return to even a slightly irregular in-person school experience, the rising trend of coronavirus cases as well as staffing concerns led the district to move entirely virtual once again after a short stint of hybrid learning for elementary and middle schoolers in early December of last year.
Approximately 85% of students surveyed by The Falcon agree with this decision, with many students such as senior Tae Park saying that “it was [the] right decision for collective safety.” Green Hope student Isabel Howard concurs, adding that she believes “it’s the right decision until we can get this new spike down and more vaccines.”
Even though most Green Hope students agree that virtual school is the most logical solution, that doesn’t mean they aren’t dissatisfied with the tone this sets for the rest of the year. The tentative return date has been moved multiple times this year, starting the end of first quarter, which quickly became the end of first semester, and is now mid-February. Only around 28% of students surveyed believe that in-person school will return before the end of the year.
Not returning to school at all this year would confirm the worries of many students: that this year would become a “lost” year of high school. Though learning is still happening virtually, the typical (and incredibly important) extracurricular elements of the high school experience such as chatting in the commons in the morning, cheering on the Green Hope football team, or even just eating lunch with friends are noticeably absent. Freshman Cameron Gregg put it best, simply saying “I want to go back.”