Ipswich High School is Back in Session


Wesley Lathrop, Author

Students at Ipswich High School recently returned to school fully in person after April Vacation. This comes after spending the whole school year in a hybrid model where two cohorts switched between online and in-person days. It was a transition that went relatively smoothly for students and faculty. So far, the consensus has been that it’s good to see the other half of the school again, but there are some parts of the hybrid model that will be missed dearly. 

Aside from staring at a screen, there were some benefits to the hybrid model while it lasted. For example, Domenic Morello said that he enjoyed the “flexibility” that he was given during online days. Students were able to work more at their own pace instead of working at the teacher’s. Of course, this also allowed for students to fall behind quickly because they didn’t feel the urgency to complete assignments. Online school was significantly easier for students who were able to self-motivate to get their work done, but the ones that needed that extra push from teachers suffered slightly. Another major benefit of the hybrid model was having an hour of check-in Zooms on Wednesdays. It made it possible for students to take some time to themselves in the middle of the school week which would have been unheard of 2 years ago. Also, it broke up the week by adding a day that students were able to sleep in a little longer. Wednesday check-ins will be missed, but the tradeoff was worth it to be in school every day again. 

After speaking with some students, the overwhelming majority preferred being in person significantly. Senior Reilly Dillon said that he preferred in-person schooling better, and  followed up by saying, “I couldn’t sit at home for a whole school year.” It seems like most everyone was getting tired of looking into a screen for 6 hours out of the day. Reilly also expressed that one of the only drawbacks to coming back to school is “having to wear masks all the time.” As a student myself, I can confirm that wearing masks for 30 hours a week does put a damper on things. However, it is infinitely better than being locked in a bedroom for that same amount of time. Cooper Norton is going to miss how he was able to “wake up later” on remote days. It’s unfortunate that students have to wake up notoriously early to get to school, and a little break from the 6 am alarm was much warranted. 

After being cooped up for so long, students are finally starting to spread their wings in school again, and both the students and teachers are loving it. Interacting and building a relationship in person with teachers benefits both parties significantly. Students get the help they need, and teachers aren’t stuck talking to a brick wall of a computer screen. In-person school is one of the first steps on a long road back to somewhat normal living. It marks an important milestone on our way out of this pandemic.