The Virus Diary: The 4th Quarter
Today is the first day of the last quarter of my son's sophomore year. (That's a mouthful.) When school ends in June, he (and everyone else in the system) will have had a full school year like no other. Last year, he (and everyone else) at least had a little over half a year of normalcy before Covid-19 sent us into chaos and remote learning. Looking back, I am so grateful for that slice of normal he had during his freshman year; that he at least got some semblance of "regular" high school life.
This school year there has been no "regular". Change is the norm. He started out as he ended the previous year, all remote. Then we changed to hybrid in November. There were 3 cohort groups (actually 4 if you counted special needs, which I am not because they are their own exception). He was (and is) in group A and went in every third day from 8:30 - 12:45 (if I remember correctly and my brain IS mush). Eventually the three groups were merged into two (because only about half of the student body had elected to do the hybrid model) and afternoon classes (always remote) were instituted along with a start time of 8:15. Are you still following? I know it's confusing...not just for me, but for us all.
For the third quarter of his sophomore year in school days (every other day) looked like this: drive him (and the girlfriend) to school at 7:55 for an 8:15 start. If it was a Monday, Wednesday or Friday I would pick them up at around 12:15 (classes end at 11:50, but he has choir which rehearses during lunch M, W and F and before school, always remotely, on Tuesdays and Thursdays). He'd have lunch and then afternoon classes from 1:10 to 2:50. Add into the mix that he auditioned (remotely) for the musical revue (which is being held in at an outdoor venue in the next town over) and was "cast" in 5 of 25 musical numbers which required him to be back at the high school (usually outdoors) around 3. (I'm not going to even get into how crazy the rehearsal schedule is with coordinating who comes in when so that there are never more than 6 students on the stage at the same time.) So then I'd drive him back and he'd walk home.
For the fourth quarter, another option was added: a full day in person school. We opted for that, but it is still a little tricky. It's still every other day. So while today is the first day of the new quarter it's a remote day for him, which means I still have to drive him to school in the afternoon for rehearsal. (Its two weeks to opening!) Tomorrow he will physically go in (as usual) and have whatever 4 classes are scheduled for the morning (schedule rotates daily) and then have choir (outside) during part of the 80 minute lunch period (remember time is needed for those who are doing the hybrid model with a partial day need time to get home, have lunch, and get in front of their computer for the afternoon session). He will bring his lunch (although they are offering grab and go bags) and eat outside. Then he will go back in for his afternoon classes. (I'm hoping they have some sort of reminder bell. He's been good keeping track of time during the school day, but...) If he wasn't in the musical, he'd walk home after, but he IS so he will have rehearsal and then walk home. (Or if he's exhausted I'll pick him up.) This is actually very close to what used to be normal and will cut down on my back and forth. (Although his girlfriend has opted to do half days and I have offered to be an emergency pick up if she has no way to get home for lunch and class...although it is possible to walk, have lunch and get in front of the computer for class within the 80 minute period.)
However (you knew there was going to be a caveat, right?) students who are doing the full day cannot eat in the school. (I understand that.) If it rains...well then all classes go remote for the afternoon. Supposedly a decision will be made about the weather by ten and an email will go out informing parents if a remote afternoon is called for. Why do I have a fear that this spring will turn out to be a rainy one?
Still this final quarter is definitely a move back towards what used to be. I'm hopeful that maybe next fall a full day will be possible. I'm hopeful, but also realistic as I know this virus keeps throwing us curve balls. Whatever it will be, it will be. Whatever the school year 2021-2022 looks like, I'll be ready.