2020 has been a year like no other
There is a constant flow of students moving between remote and in-person learning which is typically due to students facing quarantines or going remote due to athletics and wanting to avoid being quarantined. On any given day our number of students in school can fluctuate by 50-100 students.
December 31st, 2019 we rang in the beginning of a new year, 2020. I doubt anyone, including myself, ever dreamed 2020 would be one of the most challenging we would ever face. Words like pandemic, quarantine, isolation, contact tracing, super-spreader, and social distancing, described historical events generations of the past dealt with, not us. I never thought I would hear students talking about masks and coordinating them with their outfits, let alone masks being a part of a holiday dress-up day.
Staff and students have risen to the challenges this year has thrown at us. When you walk into a classroom it definitely looks different than previous years. There are fewer students in class and numerous students can be seen on the screen learning remotely. Teachers are skillfully working between the students in the classroom as well as those on-line. Some of our on-line students are doing great and really embracing the experience and the opportunity to learn in this manner. However, other students are finding that learning on-line requires tremendous self-discipline and a high level of responsibility. across the country cancelled graduation ceremonies, but here in Medford we were able to offer an outdoor ceremony safely. It was an amazing night and the class of 2020 got to celebrate in style. Homecoming looked different this year but students enjoyed new activities, an outdoor assembly, and a winning football game. Christmas concerts may not be in person this December, but more importantly families will still get to see their children perform through recordings.
Yes, this year has been a year like no other. If I have learned anything through these experiences it is that the human spirit is resilient. I don’t hear students complaining about changes or restrictions, rather I hear and see their excitement when opportunities arise. Maybe more importantly, this year has taught us hope. Hope for a better tomorrow and an appreciation for what we have. I am not sure what 2021 holds, but I am confident our students will rise to the challenge and make it a year to remember.
—Jill Lybert, principal at Medford Area Senior High School The many challenges of this year have given us new opportunities and caused us to grow in many new ways. Staff and students have learned more technology than ever before. Prior to this year, Zoom was a noise you made when you were riding your bike really fast, not the name of the technology used to interact in real-time with your classroom. Though we haven’t been able to recreate all experiences for students, we have looked at every event and try to give students a memorable experience. Districts