The 2019-2020 school year ended abruptly in March. All students didn't get to finish the year as they had expected. At the start of the new school year, 2020-2021, students were given options of alternative methods of learning; such as fully remote learning and blended learning. Towards the very end of that school year, Maspeth freshmen who’d chosen blended learning had the opportunity to go into the building full time, 5 days a week. Last year a few of the teachers who taught freshmen were interviewed for Maspeth Messenger and said that the rate of participation increased as well as the grades.
This school year, 2021-2022, those freshmen are now sophomores and are actually experiencing high school. Last year as they began to come in full time, their socialization and contact with other people was strictly limited. Now they are in a school filled with people, and are able to socialize with them with very few limitations. One of the sophomores that The Messenger interviewed said “The social parts of high school is the thing that I’m finding that I enjoy the most. I like being able to sit and talk at lunch with people and actually do group work with my friends.”
Our team asked some sophomores how their new high school experience compared to their freshman year, along with their years in middle school. One of them stated “they’re slightly different in the new things you learn, and the level of maturity of the people around you… high school is very similar to middle school but with higher expectations”. Another sophomore said “Compared to middle school, I would say my high school experience has been great. The environment is kind of different. Although it may be a little different with us having masks and having social distance, it has still been good.”
We have all had to adapt to this new world and new regulations around us, and it hasn’t been easy. As of recently COVID cases have been rising again, but at the Maspeth Messenger, we have faith in our school community and its ability to stay safe and healthy.