Students Embrace The New Normal


After Christmas break, Faith students started second semester off with a new normal. Unlike 2020, which featured asynchronous days, spliting each grade into cohorts, the 2021 second semester brought 80 percent of students back on campus. This decision has raised many safety concerns due to Covid-19 rapidly spreading, and has raised the question, “is it safe to come back?”

With this new influx of in-person students, there have been many questions about the safety concerns that come with increasing the capacity of students while the pandemic is still going on.

When asked about these safety concerns, Mr. Bowline, Faith Lutheran’s Dean of Students, stated, “ I think it is safe as long as we follow what the guidelines are.” He also mentioned that the CDC health district has given guidelines that the school is maintaining which include, “limiting our direct contact and exposure to others and keeping a safe distance.” Mr. Bowline assured that it is safe to bring 80 percent of the students back on campus and this decision was affirmed by Amy Coe, the school’s nurse.

Coe “believes it is safe” and when asked if there will be an increase in Covid-19 cases at the school she stated, “I think there might be a slight increase, but I do not think that it’s going to be a detrimental number.”

Students and teachers alike have mixed emotions about the increase in the school’s capacity. The halls are crowded, classrooms are filled, and the cafeteria is packed with students. Despite the Covid-19 concerns, many students are enthusiastic about coming back to school.

Emma Kwok, a FLHS sophomore, “feels safe with the amount of people [back in school]” and she “thinks the school made the right decision.” She feels that this decision “makes the year seem normal and helps with people’s emotional health.”

Morgan Hopes, another FLHS sophomore, has mixed feelings with the new capacity. She states that “it depends on the class.” There are a select few classes she “feels very comfortable in because of the social distancing,” but “not with others” because of the lack of distancing between desks. She shared that she “did not look forward to being 80 percent capacity” because of safety concerns, however, being back on campus has made her more productive and motivated.

Teachers at Faith Lutheran also have been impacted by these changes and safety concerns. Darius Chapman, a FLHS teacher, stated that he “definitely feels safe,” but believes that “continued commitment to follow and enforce [safety guidelines] is key” to protecting students and teachers from getting Covid-19. He added that “research has consistently shown the negative impacts both educationally and mentally on most students” during online learning. Which is why he agrees with the school’s decisions in increasing the student capacity.

With social distancing and proper sanitation methods, students and teachers feel safe at Faith Lutheran. The majority of students say they are happy to come back to school and socialize with their peers.

In the wake of Faith Lutheran increasing its capacity, Covid-19 continues to spread, however, Faith Lutheran is committed to following CDC’s safety protocols. They are implementing safety measures to keep students and staff from being infected, all while allowing students to socialize and have a more normal year.