Students adjusting to changes back in class

MISHAWAKA, Ind.-- A spike in coronavirus cases in November caused many area schools in Michiana, like Mishawka High School, to take steps backwards from in person learning to virtual again.

“The second spike began and peaked out in the November time frame and was decided to go back to an all virtual circumstance but even at that time we were looking at coming back two weeks after winter break because by that time any spike caused by that would’ve played itself out,” Mishawaka High School Principal John Ross said.

After weeks of teaching and learning through a computer screen, students came back to the classroom today!

“I just jumped right into it. There’s only a few restrictions like wearing masks and going certain ways down the hall and keeping a little distance in the classroom but otherwise I think it’s just a normal school day,” Mishawaka High School Sophomore Dawson Nowacki said.

It’s been difficult for some like Dawson Nowacki to flip-flop back and forth in learning styles, but without any hesitation, was thrilled to go back to in-person learning.

“I missed being in this awesome building, seeing all of my friends and all the teachers as opposed to being home cooped up in my room,” Nowacki said. “It’s been a little rough but the fact that everyone has been going through the same thing makes me more comfortable with it.

Before heading back to the classroom though, some changes were made to hybrid-learning styles. Virtual students and in-person students are now taught separately to take some weight off teacher’s shoulders.

“As a result, the teachers are only doing one thing at a time which makes it better for the kids to get information without competition if you will between am I addressing the virtual kids or am I addressing the in-person kids, addressing one or the other not both,” Ross said.

Overall, MHS is seeing an increase in students returning to the classroom this time around, and looks forward to possibly having them all back down the line.

“The vast majority of the staff and probably even some of the ones who have concerns about safety still are glad to have kids back because that’s the only reason why you have school is to work with students, to help them be prepared for their next step in life and there’s real gratification in being able to make that work,” Ross said.

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