Author: Julia Brennan
Posted: September 25th, 2020
After 6 months of an empty campus due to a mandated shutdown in the face of the global pandemic, COVID-19, students have at long last been able to return to The Winchendon School. At The Winchendon campus, students began arriving back to the dorms at the end of August in order to prepare for the beginning of in-person classes that would soon commence. After a 2-week quarantine period in which all classes were virtual, approximately 70% of the student population returned to the school on September 14th and attended in-person classes for the first time in months. In accordance with the global pandemic, the standards and procedures by which the school functioned looked a little bit different for both students and faculty. Classrooms have been modified to accommodate Massachusetts’ coronavirus regulations, therefore, spacing all desks out at least 6 feet apart.
Classrooms have adopted a hybrid style, in which both virtual and in-person students are in synchronous attendance. This way, it allows students under all different circumstances to be learning in a shared environment. Additionally, sanitization stations have been implemented throughout the school in order to promote simple and convenient self-regulated cleanliness. Other new procedures that have been implemented include grab and go meal offerings, outdoor fitness programming, daily health screenings, and more, all to ensure the safety of both the students and the staff. Faculty member Ms. Horne commented on the recent return to campus, stating that “It’s been a change for sure, and it’s been a bit of a challenge adjusting to hybrid learning, but what’s teaching without a challenge? Overall, I’m very excited to see many of my students and teach in person again.” That seems to sum up the general atmosphere found on campus this first week, everyone bubbling with an eager anticipation to be physically present once more. Moving forward, Winchendon plans to continue to progress, and everyone is hopeful for what the future has to offer.