First, I should apologize for the word “normal,” as I am sure it has made the list of the most overused words of 2020 and 2021. However, it is the word that came to mind when I first thought about going back to school five days a week. It is going to feel almost normal.
Sure, we will still be wearing masks and social distancing, but the idea that students will all be able to be in the building at the same time somehow allowed me to exhale. Until that moment, I didn’t even realise that I had been holding my breath.
While many school districts were sent scrambling to put plans in place and redesign classrooms and schedules upon hearing Governor Sununu’s order that all schools offer five-day in-person learning starting on April 19, Andover Elementary/Middle School was already ready to go. As soon as we moved to four-day in-person learning when returning from February vacation, Principal Dobe already had plans in motion to move into a five-day week as soon as possible.
In adding the four-day-a-week phase to our school year, the move to a five-day schedule was simple and seamless. The governor’s order didn’t really have an impact on AE/MS, as we would have been opening anyway. Had the elections not been moved to April 13 this year, we would have been a week ahead of the rest of the state for a five-day in-person school week.
As with everything else that has been thrust upon the teachers, they took it all in stride. The students have had mixed emotions with the new five-day plan. The biggest complaint when they heard the news was that they would not be able to sleep in a bit on Monday mornings.
I am sure once they get used to it, it will feel good to get back to “normal.” I can’t wait to see what September brings.