Oakdale Students Return to Fully In-Person Learning After 18 Months


Catherine Brennan

Journalism students learn in person after 18 months of being online.

Catherine Brennan, Editor-In-Chief

This past week on August 18th, FCPS students returned to the classroom for fully in person classes. Although FCPS does now offer a virtual option for students, Oakdale High School is still packed, as most students opted to go back full time.


Some are enthusiastic about the return, with a poll conducted via Instagram revealing that approximately 43% of students were excited about the start of school, citing reasons such as being able to see friends and having a regular schedule, both of which many missed out on during the pandemic. 


Senior and captain of the girls soccer team Hannah Lebo, summed up her feelings about the start of school in one word: “Exciting.” 


She went on to say, “I enjoy school, so I looked forward to being able to see my teachers and my friends again, and mostly sports.”


Other students, however, voiced their disdain for the start of school, with 57% of students saying they were hesitant to start school. According to the poll, the most common reasons for not wanting to return to school as normal are waking up early and the stress associated with school. 


Despite differing feelings regarding the start of school, it is still significant that students are able to be back at all, and for many, including Senior Bavan Nadarajah, returning to the school building is beneficial to learning. 


“I feel like it’s better to learn in person, it’s easier to retain information,” Nadarajah voiced. 


In school learning provides students with an opportunity to not only be in a classroom with limited distractions, but it also allows them to form connections with their peers and teachers, both of which help to make school more enjoyable for many. These connections were lost during virtual school, where most students didn’t show their faces or participate in discussions. 


This year, however, is different.


“Now that I have school and sports, I feel like I’m able to get back into the swing of things, which I didn’t feel like I had during COVID,” explained Lebo.


It has been proven that routines and schedules are beneficial for everyone, especially children and adolescents, and the need for that in school is no different. Being able to come to school every day and establish familiarity within daily lives after the past 18 months, is a gift that we should all be thankful for.


There are innumerable things to look forward to this coming school year, but Lebo shared what she was most excited for: “Homecoming, football games, sports games, prom, and since it’s [my] senior year, I want to make the most of every part.”


So welcome back, Bears! Let’s make the most out of this school year. It will certainly be one that we will always remember.