Emerging from the Pandemic: What Will School Look Like Next Fall?

Emerging from the Pandemic:  What Will School Look Like Next Fall?

With the advancement of vaccines, and the new incentive of vaccinated people not having to wear a mask/social distance as per  CDC recommendations, reverting back to life before COVID-19 is becoming more realistic. With the new regulation about vaccinated people, and vaccines being administered every day, going back to school fully in-person next year is looking to become true. As by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Loudoun Department of Health, LCPS is going back to the five-day school week next school year; eliminating the asynchronous Monday.

I know the school board, as well as the interim superintendent, as committed to five days of in person school next year, with some options for students who may need to be in distance learning because of medical issues and stuff like that,” said Heritage High School Principal, Jeffrey Adam. 

Exciting as this news may be, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Adam expresses how there is still a lot of “unknown”, and many questions and issues can’t be answered at the moment.

“Obviously if things keep going the way they’re going, it’s more likely that we have less health concerns, but we’ll see. All of that will depend on where things go with the virus, and whether if incidents continue to decline, or if they start coming back, and things like that,” said Adam in response to how in-person school will be handled with Covid 19 still very much evident. 

Issues like being able to social distance and fit every student back into the building is also a bridge that will have to wait to be crossed until later. In this very tricky case, later can be referring to next school year, or even sometime during the summer. Once again, this decision is heavily based on Covid-19 cases in the area, and how the CDC, Virginia Department of Health, and Loudoun Department of Health would like to respond.

The closest thing students and teachers can compare next year to is the in-person system that was put into place at the end of this school year.

Adam added, “It would be like in person now. They allowed us to have students sit three feet apart from each other in classrooms with masks on, so, I wouldn’t imagine that that would go backwards, it would continue to be at least that, and that would probably be the only way we would fit everybody in, if everyone was back in school.”

Will three feet be enough? Will the school be able to accommodate everyone if they are required to be three feet apart? Well, there is no way to know until it happens, and how LCPS and the school board will deal with it is still uncertain. It is challenging that the future continues to be painted with uncertainty, and few answers, but many have become accustomed to this guessing game.

Perhaps it is time to trust the process, or perhaps it’s not. Either way, there are no cheat codes for knowing what will occur in the future.

I stopped trying to predict the future a long time ago”- Jeffrey Adam.