Spring-Ford students rally, look forward to a bright future

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Spring-Ford junior Emma Friend completes work in English class. Students can expect a more usual school year next fall.

Jade Weller , Opinion Editor

The beginning of the 2020-2021 school year presented several challenges and an unpredictable path.

Due to safety concerns, Spring-Ford High School decided to remain virtual during the first quarter, and this presented several technological obstacles.

There was then a transition to the hybrid model, and this allowed students to choose whether they would attend school in-person or remain virtual for the remainder of the year. Though this dynamic learning model provided students and parents the opportunity to select their preferred learning environment, there were still challenges that followed.

For instance, students sometimes felt disengaged during class due to the abnormal class setting, and teachers faced the challenge of connecting with virtual and in-person students simultaneously.

¨Hybrid or not, this past year has been trying for everyone,” Spring-Ford English teacher Rebecca Barnett said. “Adding hybrid was a learning curve for us all, but the key to making it work for me was to accept that it could never mimic completely the way things were before. Especially with the many class discussions in my courses, connecting my students was the priority.¨

A significant component lost within the school year also included the normalcy of exciting events and spirit throughout the year. Though there were attempts to continue with events, such as Spirit Week, it was evident that things could not be quite the same in comparison to other years.

¨It was hard to not have normal school events this year,¨ junior Matt Mogel said. ¨My girlfriend and I were looking forward to the prom, however we could not experience that. Also, my friends and I always dress up for Spirit Week with each other, but we were not able to have that either.¨

The absence of the traditional enthusiasm associated with school events was difficult for students, especially for seniors who had missed out on several in the year prior.

In addition to missing out on milestone events last school year, seniors have dealt with the loss of a traditionally exciting last year of high school as well. Despite the attempt to make up for the normalcy, events were inevitably abnormal.

¨It was hard when school was shut down last school year and major events were canceled,¨ said senior Sam Ricci. ¨However, it was more difficult when the following year lacked those major events and the attempt to remake them was just not the same.¨

While this unconventional school year was challenging to overcome, the resilience exhibited by students and staff allowed for a successful journey through the hardships.

As we emerge from the school year, students can now look forward to the next year resembling a more normal setting. Since the decision to eliminate the virtual learning option for students, we can now anticipate a more united, traditional environment at Spring-Ford next fall.

Our ability to successfully reach the end of the year represents the strength and perseverance in our district.

Therefore, we all should feel accomplished for overcoming the difficulties presented within the last school year and maintain hope for the future.