Park returns to unlimited learning

Switch yields mixed reactions


Molly Schochet

Juniors Henry Odens and Thomas Moot work together in their second hour precalculus class April 12. Park transitioned to in-person learning April 12.

Gillian Kapinos

After her first day in unlimited learning, sophomore Amelia McGregor said the move was beneficial for students and ran smoothly with the safety measures in place.

“Going (to) 100% will really help student’s mental health by seeing people and socializing. There’s always a little risk nowadays, but with social distancing and masks I think we can make it work,” McGregor said.

Park moved to unlimited learning April 12 in efforts to make strides in the return to normalcy. Teacher Alexander Polk said he didn’t have the time to form an opinion but is interested to see how this plays out.

“I don’t have complete thoughts yet, mainly because it’s only been one day. But it’s definitely nice to have the energy back,” Polk said. “I’m just intrigued to see what happens in the next week and a half to really have a better opinion.”

Sophomore Erica Franklin, who’s currently in cohort C, said that it feels like the right time to make this move.

“I don’t think it’s too soon because of the vaccine (distribution). It’s better than the beginning of the year when everyone didn’t have the vaccines,” Franklin said. “It’s getting to where more students can be back at school. Of course, wear your mask and stand apart, but I think this is good timing for everything.”

Polk said Park is doing well with their safety goals and was taken aback by how well the students are following the guidelines.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily unsafe. I do feel like students are doing a better job at wearing masks than I had honestly anticipated, and I think they’re doing a decent job at staying apart, which are all positives,” Polk said.

Franklin said while she opted into cohort C because she wasn’t comfortable returning, wider vaccine distribution made the transition to unlimited learning less stressful for many students.

“Requiring people to get a vaccine will make people feel less afraid of going in the building, and will make them feel safer to see friends and teachers for longer periods during the day,” Franklin said.

Polk said it’s hard to manage distance with more in-person students, but that it will work out.

“I’m still juggling, mainly because I didn’t want to have a big divide between cohorts and it’s only been the one day so it might change in the future,” Polk said. “It feels a bit better to have more people in the room because it does allow me to focus more on teaching the in-person people, but I’m not necessarily done juggling yet.”