Barnstable Schools Set to Reopen

Desk+marks+%27not+for+student+use%27+in+order+to+ensure+social+distancing+amongst+students.++

Photo by Evan Fishback

Desk marks ‘not for student use’ in order to ensure social distancing amongst students.

Evan Fishback, Staff Writer

This year has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but there is one more drop for BHS students: the news that Barnstable High School will be going back to full in-person learning on May 3.

The decision to return was made via a group of individuals designed for all points of view to be heard. Assistant Superintendent and current administrator in charge at BHS, Kristen Harmon, said that Administration recognizes the importance of having students in school. 

“We know there’s a lot to be done,” Harmon said regarding the timing of the decision in late March. She said that they wanted it to be early enough to be impactful and that the school needs more than two weeks to prepare, after all, 300-400 desks take some time to move.

On top of that, Harmon added that Covid-19 cases are heading back down within the district; and the decision to temporarily go fully remote a few weeks ago was due to the fact that the number of student cases spiked. She added that there is no conclusive evidence on the in-school spread. “I feel that school is the safest place to be,” Harmon said. As for the plan to go back, Harmon said that weekly email communication between her and students/families began on Thursday, April 8. These communications include schedule and rule updates, such as drop off and pick up and which lunch students will have.

There will be a third lunch added to the schedule. This will certainly cause students to be assigned new lunches and likely more people in each lunch location. The rules will continue to be clarified as Harmon meets with assistant principals weekly. 

Likely the biggest change that students will notice is the major difference in the Wednesday schedule. It will now be a full day in-person with each class being 65 minutes to maintain passing time. B block will be lunch block on Wednesdays and the three lunch periods will still apply. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, TGA will be shortened to extend the flex block to 65 minutes as well. Cohort D will also have this new schedule.

“I think it’s time to go back,” Harmon said, adding that she hopes that BHS finishes strong under one roof. Harmon also said that she hopes that they can maybe bring back some traditional spring events. 

“It’s been a team effort,” Harmon said, and it will be for all parties involved. Harmon added that she hopes it can help get everyone ready for September.

Harmon isn’t the only one who’s in favor of a full in-person student return, “It’s going to be great,” math teacher Kimberly Taylor, adding that though she’ll miss having that much-needed break on Wednesday, she thinks it’ll be great for students to get back in the classroom.

Taylor said that she hopes that when students come back, that classroom bond that she sees by this time in a normal year will return. She is ready for students to be attentive and not distracted by all the things that they have going on at home.

Students aren’t quite all-in though. Sophomore Garrett Sheehan said he is on the fence about going back. “I think we should have waited because we’ve already gotten used to this schedule,” Sheehan said. He’s not against going back though. He added that he’s excited to see friends that he basically hasn’t seen all year.