WMS students come back together after 2 years of remote learning


Christopher Joy

Mrs. Burke teaches a math lesson to her new 7th graders

This September, students, faculty, and staff came back to the WMS building after almost two years of being virtual because of the ongoing pandemic.

After not being in school for two years, student Christina Labracio said she was nervous about coming back because, “I have to get up early and care about how I look.”

When coming back to school many students and teachers had different opinions and emotions toward coming back to school. 8th grader Jhonny Collado said, “It was easier online and I still feel like it would be easier online.

Mr. Van, an 8th grade teacher, shared his perspective about coming back to school. He said, “ Switching gears from being remote has felt kind of weird, I like it a lot better and I feel like everything’s almost back to normal.” 

Band students practice their instruments in person, after being online for two years
(Aleeza Raza)
WMS students back in the classroom, prepping for a painting (Aleeza Raza)

Students have many different feelings coming back into school and there have been changes in the middle school experience. For example, with gym being fully back, students have to wear masks. 8th grader Dominic Nycz said, “It’s harder for me to breathe and it makes me sweat more.”

Online learning changed students’ and teachers’ routines. 8th grader Ashton said, “I never wanted to wake up so I woke up at 7:44 and ate cereal.”

Virtual learning affected how much students learned over the past year. 8th-grade math teacher Mr.Van explained, “It’s my job to inspect things more and look out for what students might be behind on. I think a lot of my energy as a teacher has been focused on looking for things students might be missing.”

Dr.Crowe, WMS principal, explained, “With the Start Strong assessment coming up, it’s better having students back in school.” Most students haven’t been tested since they were fully in school almost two years ago. 

Vice-principal Mr.Harris said, “This year is different from the past years because there is more technology.” Students and teachers depend more on Chromebooks and iPads to submit work instead of paper and textbooks. 

Not being in school for a year affected students’ grades, attitudes, and emotions. Dr.Crowe explained, “It was enjoyable seeing the difference and progress from last year to this year.”

Students in health work on their iPads during second block (Lexi Morales)

Not only were the differences pronounced, but teachers are now realizing what an impact covid had on their lives.  8th-grade science teacher, Mr. Blackmore, explained the difficulties of teaching a hands-on subject remotely, “I tried even in the classroom to use chemicals or materials that would be accessible at home.”  Many teachers, like Blackmore, tried to make the remote situation as good as possible.

Teachers have had to adapt to online learning/teaching, but it was also a difficult adjustment for school principals. WMS principal Dr.Crow said, “It was challenging; we were trying to oversee a school that wasn’t physical in nature and it was difficult.” Principals’ jobs are to set goals for students and staff,  so it makes it much more difficult for them to do that when they’re not in school.

While teaching has changed over time, so did learning. When it’s hard to learn it means it’s hard to teach. WMS Technology teacher, Mr. Cardoso said, “ It was really hard knowing if kids were paying attention.”  Many teachers echoed Mr. Cardoso’s sentiments about the difficulties of remote learning.

While many staff members’ jobs have been affected by the pandemic, some more so. WMS counselor  Mrs. Valente said, “It was a little harder when we were home because they had to meet online.” With the impact that these counselors have on students, it was difficult to have the same impact during remote learning. 

Mrs. Valente said, “It’s easier for students to come down here if they are having trouble with something.  And if we find out something they can come down here and speak with us.”

Mrs. Burke’s 7th Grade Math Class is making the best of class time during the week of respect, even with the ongoing pandemic.
(Lyana Rolon)

Teachers weren’t the only people affected by the pandemic, students also had a difficult time learning. 8th-grade student Billy Mansfield said, “My grades were dropping a lot but I was trying my hardest. I could not understand over the Chromebook.” 

Not only did it affect grades it also affected people’s social life.  7th-grade student Monserrat Pereyri said, “Quarantine affected my social life because it made me more insecure.” 

Though learning may have been difficult, so was keeping up with friendships. 8th-grade teacher Mr. Van said, “I know from my own kids they kind of lost connections.”  

Students had it hard last year.  Dr. Crowe explained, “It was great seeing students and staff coming together in that rough time.” 

Although remote learning was hard, it made people think about life. A 6th grader named Sarina James said, “If I could go back in time I would maybe go back and fix my mistakes.”

Ms. Nardoza’s 7th-grade class works on a group project. (Sean Russo)

Many students didn’t like online school and, as a result, many of them were looking forward to school and now have hopes. 8th grader Reyhurn Gandhi says, “Since learning is so much easier, I would like to get all A’s.” 

Almost every student and teacher had a difficult time during online school and most of them didn’t like it. 8th grader Billy Mansfield said, “I hated it, I wish we were back in school.”

Particular events were canceled due to Covid-19, 8th grader Christina Labracio said, “ I’m looking forward to the Halloween dance and the last day of school.” 

Students have missed out on socializing due to the pandemic. 8th-grade teacher Mr. Van explained what he is looking forward to, “Just seeing students reconnect with each other.” 

Students are also excited to be back so they can enjoy their favorite classes. 8th grader Christina Labracio said, “Gym because I consider it a free block and don’t have any work to do.”

8th grader Jhonny Collado is excited to be back in school because he said, “Math is my favorite class because I like it and I’m good at it.”

Most students like school because of the activities and sports. Ashton Seniakevgch said, “I hated online school because I liked doing gym in school.”

Students also missed their favorite classes in person. Jhonny likes his STEM class, he said, “I like building things because that’s what it’s about.”


Students are excited to be back in school! (Lyana Rolon)