Long Time, No See

Students return to in-person learning after many months away

Courtney Fletcher remembers her first day of school as a secretary at Stockbridge Junior/Senior High School


“It was a stressful yet happy day with new and returning students with their smiling faces hoping you can help them find their way to their classroom,” Fletcher said.


That day happened to also be the first day the school was open as junior and senior high school after being remodeled.


“It was the day I realized we are all in this together,” Fletcher said.


The new Stockbridge Community Schools and state of Michigan policies regarding COVID-19 that require masks to be worn, among other safety requirements, along with some students attending virtually, makes going back to school different.


 “I think it’s a little bit more difficult, as there’s so many new procedures,” Fletcher said.


On June 30, 2020 Governor Whitmer and her Covid-19 Task Force released a detailed plan for returning to school. It included protocols and guidelines for different phases along with recommendations for what schools should be doing for those phases.


“We will continue to put safety first, leveraging science, data, and public health evidence to inform the decisions we make to serve each and every student in Michigan well,” wrote Whitmer. 


Students have already begun returning to in person learning, with the senior high school returning September 21. 


To ensure a safe return new policies and rules are being strictly enforced, orange dots that indicate the proper practice for social distancing and black arrows to direct the flow of students line the floors and lunch tables. Diligent cleaning of the bathrooms, classrooms, and other frequently touched surfaces will occur every few hours. Students are told to go straight to their class upon arrival if they are not getting breakfast. 


Those are just some of the many changes occurring this school year. JayLee Chapman 7 started off her first year in the junior/senior high school virtually and now, like many students, has transitioned into in-person learning.


“My favorite part of coming back in person is, I ask a lot of questions because it takes me longer to understand, so I’m actually asking them in person instead of reading an email,” said Chapman.


She didn’t realize how different and strict things would be when she returned.


“I guess I just miss laughing around with my friends and not having to keep the distance,” Chapman said. “Same with the teachers because they have to stay a distance away when you’re trying to show them something on your Chromebook. It’s actually really hard.”