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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Looking to Next School Year : What To Expect?

The 2021-2022 school year calendar was released in March amidst discussions of returning five days a week this year and got somewhat lost in the shuffle. With the re-lease of that calendar comes a number of questions about what next school year might look like as the world has learned to live amidst a pandemic. Reflections on the past year are helping to shape future plans.

“I think a normal day next year would look more similar to how it does now after spring break,” said Kourtney Gore, history teacher. “I think that the remote option may not be there, but I think the idea to keep distance and to wear a mask will still be a thing.”

From her perspective, next year is going to be a minimal change since the remain-der of this year is likely a vivid rough draft of it.

“I do think most students will return to school,” said Gore. “the vaccine opening up to 16 would definitely help.”

With the vaccine now available to people 16 and up, and trials currently underway for people 12 and up, there will likely be many more vaccinated people next school year, meaning more people will feel comfortable returning to in-person learning who this year opted for remote learning.

“One of the main things I’m hoping for next year is that the county decides to do a remote academy,” said assistant principal Karla Stanley. “I think that masks and plexiglass are going to stay around. And the social distancing–I think that depends. If the cases go back up, then we will have more social distancing; if they don’t, then maybe less social distancing.”

Talk of a remote academy has been stirring across the county as hybrid teaching brings challenges in scheduling, equity, and more. Whether the county will address this by adding a separate remote academy, by housing small remote academies at each school, or in some other innovative way is yet to be determined.

A more- traditional school experience is likely on the horizon, though, meaning sporting events, club activities, and social gatherings are likely to increase in activity and attendance with fewer restrictions in place than this year. Though safety precautions will remain in place thanks to more attention on public health practices and new norms.

“I think it’s going to look different in that they are going to have to sit differently: three feet,” said Stanley. “People just in general are cautious now about being really close together unless they’re in the same families.”

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