Due to the pandemic, the Manchester Essex Regional School District decided the school year would begin with an all-remote school format. At the time, District Superintendent Pam Beaudoin said it was a hard decision, but public safety and consistency were the most important factors for the school committee that made the decision.
Now, nearly two months later, the district announced elementary school students will begin a staged return to in-person schooling starting with Kindergarten through second grade this week and grades three through five next week.
But how are high schoolers doing with their remote-only program? We asked several students.
Freshman Lily Francoeur said she misses in-person learning because of the social disconnect she feels now from the other students.
“I don’t personally like it because I’d rather be in school and be able to socialize with everyone,” she said.
Sophomore Paige Garlitz said it has been helpful having all of her materials in one place and not having to transport supplies back and forth from school.
“I am much more organized because I don’t have to worry about forgetting something at school. I have everything I need in front of me at all times, or it is 10 feet away in my bedroom,” she said.
Garlitz said she also misses seeing her friends and peers each day, even if it was outside the classroom or during breaks in the day.
“The best part about school is seeing your friends and talking to them in between classes and getting the chance to work collaboratively together… I miss seeing everyone,” she said.
Junior Chris Daly said while he enjoys the increased freedom of the online school schedule, communication with teachers has been more strenuous.
“I like certain aspects of remote learning… but there are some days where I wish I could just go into school to catch up and make sure my questions are being answered and check in,” he said.
Senior Cooper O’Brien said although remote learning has been a tough adjustment, students should be able to adapt to the circumstances.
“Remote learning is not an ideal way of learning, but as the world around us is changing, we have to go with the flow and do the same,” he said.
Madeline Lai is a senior at ME Regional High School and co-editor of the school’s newspaper, The Independent.