Students revisit campus for pilot classes

With high schools scheduled to reopen in January, safety restrictions were not the only concern, as the logistics of teaching blended and remote had not been sorted out. In an effort to make the transition smoother, ten NPHS teachers were asked to teach their remote and blended students at the same time, while following all of the new COVID-19 safety protocols.

These classes are a part of a pilot program implemented the week of Nov. 9. “All the high schools worked on getting some type of pilot program up and running,” Stephen Lepire, principal, said. Lepire mentioned that when visiting classrooms, it seemed that many students were genuinely happy to be physically back on campus; in addition, the school hopes to do an official survey for students and teachers in the pilot program after Thanksgiving break. 

Teachers of the pilot program have welcomed the change with open arms. “Career Technical Education, or CTE classes… are very very difficult online…it gave me the opportunity to have my students back in the shop,” Kristian Atkins, the woodworking teacher at NPHS, said. While there was some confusion regarding where to go on campus, Atkins said the transition back has been relatively smooth for his students. 

Some students were worried about how restrictions would be managed by both the school and their peers but were pleasantly surprised by how well the situation was handled. “I was a little worried because I didn’t know how the school would be handling restrictions and even if they put them in place, how well they’d be following them…but I think the school is doing a really good job,” says Lindsay Freedman, freshman, in Associated Student Government (ASG). 

ASG has been meeting as a fifth period class throughout the school year, but with the pilot program, they have been meeting in-person on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  She says that not only do the teachers and staff take restrictions seriously, the students do as well. “We are being super responsible because we know it’s up to us to decide whether we can keep going or not,” Freedman said.

Emily Flores, senior, has been going on campus for her sports medicine class. Flores enjoys being back on the grounds and is really pleased with the way sanitation and safety protocol were executed. “I think it’s a great way to slowly adjust to make sure that protocols and everything are being met as safely as possible,” Flores said.

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