Back to basics: a return to normalcy


Grayson Thomas

Photo Taken By Grayson Thomas. Caption For Photo, The crowded cafeteria is now the only room for students to eat in, instead of the policy of the cafeteria and gym being eating areas from the 2020-2021 school year.

     What does back to basics really mean? 

     This year, students at Highlands High School have had the opportunity to do just that. 

     Some of these changes include all of the students eating in the cafeteria rather than eating in the gymnasium and cafeteria, having an extra thirty minutes to do work for their classes and make-up tests, otherwise known as focus period, and being able to sit three-feet-apart.

     Students feel that the school has gone back to normal in some ways despite still having to follow a few COVID-19 restrictions. 

     The students and faculty commented on the changes that were made for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Senior Dakota Summer expressed his thoughts about the changes made this school year.

     “In terms of changes that have been made to the school, although we are still following several precautions, it does feel a little bit more normal. The lunch situation is a big improvement from last year, and students can work in person at a closer distance.” 

     Junior Robert Chalk added to this. 

     “I feel that a lot of the same things from last year are still here, but more changes were added to improve quality of life for students.”         

     Many teachers feel like these changes to a return to “normal” have been beneficial in many ways. 

     English Teacher Carrie Murray stated how her day as a teacher has been impacted. 

     “My day has changed in many ways. I can interact with the students regularly in class and in the hallways which are wonderful. I also can use paper and pencil to allow students to demonstrate learning in ways that aren’t always technologically driven. Small grouping under 15 minutes also allows me to provide other opportunities for students to learn.”  

     Murray continued her discussion on how the new guidelines have changed day-to-day school life for her and her students. 

     “I would say, overall, the change is positive because I can take what I learned from the challenges of NTI and incorporate the positive advancements into a more well-rounded curriculum. Finally, with extracurricular activities back, I can see students outside of the academic environment flourishing.”

Many of the teachers believe that they have learned from the problems students and staff faced due to the COVID-19 safety precautions.

     Health Teacher Michael Code added to this explaining the differences between the 2021-2022 year from the 2020-2021 school year.

     “Not very much this year. Last year we had to drop so many hands-on activities in the fall but most of them we’ve added back in. (At least in some capacity). Obviously, the cleaning time, in the end, takes a few minutes away from instruction but so far it’s not been too bad. It has required a lot more work dealing with absent students. That has increased the messages we send daily to about 5-10x.”

     These changes have been an exciting way to begin the 2021-2022 school year and have been super positive and a great addition to the school.