Three days into everyone being back in school. I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth transition, as both schools continue to adjust on the fly as conditions warrant.
At CHS, they have had to make multiple changes to students’ schedules. We heard that the first change was because they had a higher students-per-class ratio than the county health department wanted. So over the weekend 62 sections – I’m assuming that means groups of similar classes – had to be revamped to hit that threshold. M got an email Sunday saying to check her schedule again Monday morning. Sure enough, most of her classes had changed.
When I picked her up after school she said her schedule had changed again during the day. So she had math before lunch…then again after lunch instead of chemistry. She said her math teacher looked at her and asked her why she was back. I’m sure she wasn’t the only kid that happened to.
Tuesday was apparently a little more stable, although one of her classes did change location. She said some of the restrictions inside the school are “super annoying.” Most halls are one-way, which means she sometimes has to make a big circle to get to her next class instead of just popping around the corner. We’ve adjusted our pickup routine because kids are not allowed to roam the campus while waiting for rides, more because of construction than Covid concerns. But then they can’t socialize in the room they wait in. So I now do first pick up at St. P’s and run over and get M shortly after CHS lets out.
She also says all of her teachers are annoying. She loved her teachers last year so that was kind of inevitable.
At St. P’s things are also a little weird. C’s class does not have a dedicated home room teacher, so other teachers are bouncing in all day to monitor them. We’ve heard of at least a couple times when no one has been in the room with them. Which A) is bound to happen and B) probably should be something that is corrected quickly rather than allowed to continue.
I’ve heard a ton of complaints from parents with kids who have had to quarantine about the difficulties of eLearning. They claim the connections are not great, it is difficult for kids at home to ask questions, and sometimes materials that are supposed to be visible to the kids are home are not available to them.
Kinks are to be expected. We had a couple friends who pulled their kids and put them in public schools because they were worried that St. P’s did not have a good plan to manage either hybrid or total eLearning if it came to that again this year. Although we’ve not had to keep a kid home yet, the fact others are having so many issues is concerning. I would say disappointing, too, but it’s hard enough to teach a class of middle schoolers face-to-face. Having to also teach a handful of kids who are Zoomed into class while keeping both groups engaged, interested, and making sure they all are getting questions answered seems like a nearly impossible task.
Beyond the actual education part, C and L have both complained that their classrooms are freezing. C said hers was 60 all day Tuesday. A new HVAC system came online the day before classes began and it appears to be very, very good at cooling. I’m assuming/hoping tweaks will be made.
Kickball season starts Wednesday. C’s team will be missing two girls who are self-quarantining. Fortunately we have 17 girls on the squad, so missing a few actually makes it easier on us when we’re making the lineup and defensive rotation. L’s team only has 10 girls, which is how many play in the field. They scrimmaged another team last night and the coaches were (kind of) jokingly telling the girls they can’t get sick or injured for the next three weeks.
Because CYO sports schedules are dumb, L already had her basketball tryouts for the fall last Saturday. She should find out what team she is on by the end of the week. She decided to pass on club soccer this year so that she could have the best chance to make the A basketball team. I hope it works out. We signed her up for rec soccer but that has already been cancelled for the fall.
Finally, C decided not to run cross country this year. She told us she didn’t like it that much last year even before she got her stress fracture that ended her season. The joy she used to find in distance running didn’t come back over the summer. I’ll miss Saturday meets and hanging out with the other parents. Cross country meets seem like the one safe spectator sport.