Will Vaccines Help Schools Return to Normal?

Will Vaccines Help Schools Return to Normal?

Sarah Arner, Reporter

In January and February of 2021, teachers from schools in Virginia were given the option to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This has allowed schools to have more options for in-person learning.

Having the option of getting the vaccine has been exciting for teachers who want it because it increases the opportunities for students and teachers to be back in person. Mr. Harrison, a Spanish teacher, said, “I did get the vaccine, both doses in fact!”

Even though there has been some controversy over whether the vaccine is safe or not, Aanandi Parashar (9) said, “If the vaccine had been tested on kids my age and was deemed safe, I would get it.”

COVID-19 has presented some challenges for schools having in-person learning, but hopefully with the vaccine rolling out, schools will be back to normal in the near future. Mr. Harrison commented, “I think that we will most likely be all in-person next year, save a few people who are still in a very vulnerable demographic or those who have very vulnerable family members.”

Even if schools go back to in-person learning five days a week, there could still be restrictions in place. Mr. Harrison expressed, “I would like to think that masking and some kind of social distancing will still be around… but it may be at a reduced distance (3 feet instead of 6) and it may end up being to where students only need to be masked when they or someone else is moving around the room, not at all times.”

Schools have implemented a new-normal way of learning online with resources such as WebEx and Blackboard Collaborate. Mr. Harrison explained a way this technology could still be used when school returns to in-person. “This adopted technology may bring an increased focus in digital submission so that students can turn in their work whenever it is finished, as opposed to having to wait until they see that teacher again to hand in a physical copy of work.”

Even though the vaccine has brought much hope for the future, it may not take effect immediately. Aanandi Parashar expressed, “I don’t think it will have much of an impact this year, since students are a majority of the school and they have not been vaccinated yet.”

Overall, COVID-19 has had big effects on schools this year, but hopefully the vaccine will have a positive effect on schools in the future. With the vaccine becoming more and more available, the options for bringing students back to school full time should increase. In addition, new technologies that have been in place for communication and virtual learning could continue to be used to augment in-person leaning.