How High School Students Feel About Returning to School

David Scott

Neshaminy High School recently reopened its doors for full 5 day, in person classes and the students have mixed feelings about it.

“I don’t know why we took this long,” said Dominic Vacca, 18, senior at Neshaminy. “Central Bucks has been back for a month now and there’s still no word on prom.”

Vacca’s words echo similar concerns that Neshaminy students have about this ‘socially distanced’ return to in person learning. Students are worried about missing out on highly anticipated events like prom, and with little word from the school district about the matter, it’s doubtful that there will be one at this point.

Pennsbury High School has been following a similar hybrid model to Neshaminy since Feb. 2, and by next week is planning on sending students back fully as well.

Olivia Caldera, 18, is a senior at Pennsbury who, before the pandemic, was involved in many of the school’s drama productions. She isn’t sure how she feels about the way her school is handling the “’rona-restrictions.”

“They don’t tell you if someone who was in your class had it,” Caldera said. “There’s been a few cases in the school, both students and teachers, but if it’s a student, the school doesn’t notify anyone in class with them.”

This was shocking to hear considering how contact tracing has been a big part in helping flatten the curve of the pandemic. If this information is being withheld from the students, it could further slow the return to ‘normal’ life.

“We’re back hybrid right now, but we’re going all in on the [April] 12th,” said Caldera.

Caldera talked about how like Neshaminy students, Pennsbury teens also felt the hybrid ‘model’ could’ve started sooner for them.

Realistically it’s hard to imagine 3,000 high schoolers maintaining a 6 feet (3 feet now) distance from one another for six hours a day.

One of the biggest counterpoints on the part of the schools has been that not all students will be returning at once. However, from the perspective of those who attend it, it seems as if almost everyone is back.

“Main street (Neshaminy’s biggest hallway), looks almost exactly like it did before the shutdown,” said Anthony Tamanini, 18, another senior at Neshaminy. “There’s like no social distancing.”