New Day From A New Distance

After five months, the first day of in-person school commences

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Wentzville School District

Dr. Cain is interviewed by KSDK before the first day of school Monday morning.

Lizzie Kayser, Co Editor-in-chief

“Weird.” James Ford didn’t hesitate when asked how the first day of school felt. That word seemed to float through muffled masks and sparse classrooms as students entered the building for the first time in five months.

Currently, the Wentzville School District is operating under Level 2 of its three level learning plan. Divided by the first letters of their last names, half of the students attended school in person Monday and the other half worked independently at home. 

Ford, a senior, was not expecting his final year of school to feel so empty. 

“[There were] not a lot of people,” Ford said. “I was excited to go back and hang out with my friends, but half aren’t even here.”

Adapting to life in a new world is no easy task. Teachers and students alike struggle to balance between caution and normalcy. Aspects of school that were once rarely given a second thought, from hallway crowding to seating charts to classroom sizes, now play a critical role in maintaining safety. Desks are wiped down between classes and masks are required throughout the day; still, a sense of unease remains, especially in situations where complete distancing cannot be kept. 

I was excited to go back and hang out with my friends, but half aren’t even here.”

— James Ford

“I didn’t feel safe at lunch,” senior Sarvani Kunapareddy said. “I wish there were more precautions taken.” 

BB block students faced a different set of challenges at home. From behind a screen, it’s difficult to grasp what the year will actually look like. Some classes began working while other students simply waited. 

“It was actually pretty productive, but I think that’s just because everything’s new,” sophomore Elaine Thimyan said. 

In a time of uncertainty, it’s as if everyone is entering school for the first time again. Alongside seniors adjusting to a newfound “weirdness”, freshmen like Zoey Burright experienced their true first day of high school through a new lens. 

“It’s a little bit stressful. I think our teachers are doing their best to make everything the best they can, but it’s pretty hard not knowing where you’re going,” Burright said. 

Without the usual pep rallies, football games and freshman traditions, Burright’s freshman year will be weirder than most. However, despite not having a stereotypical start to her high school career, she remains optimistic. 

“I think it’s going to be a lot better than middle school,” Burright said. “I’m super excited.”