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Guest commentary: Four-day-a-week in-person schedule benefits students

La Jolla High School
All in-person students at La Jolla High School are going to the campus Mondays through Thursdays.
(File)

This commentary is being published both by the La Jolla Light (lajollalight.com) and the La Jolla High School Hi-Tide (ljhitide.net) as part of a partnership to give La Jolla High students the opportunity to express their views in the community newspaper.

After over a year of online school filled with endless Zooms and no real contact with anyone, students recently got the opportunity to start refilling the classrooms.

The week of April 12, La Jolla High School students with last names starting with A-L went to school on Monday and Tuesday and students with last names starting with M-Z went to school on Wednesday and Thursday. The class sizes during the shortened schedule were very small and ranged from one student to about 10 students.

After over a year of distance learning and more than seven months into the current school year, La Jolla’s five public schools in the San Diego Unified School District welcomed most of their students back to campus April 12 as the district reopened from closures triggered by COVID-19.

After the first week of the two-day schedule, Principal Chuck Podhorsky made an announcement that the class sizes were small enough to bring all in-person students to school Mondays through Thursdays while keeping Fridays asynchronous for everyone. With the four-day schedule, any classes that exceed 15 students will have a few relocate and use Zoom in the library in order to continue following safety protocols.

La Jolla High junior Nathan Kirn was excited when the school announced the four-day schedule. “I enjoy the four-day schedule because I get the chance to see more of my friends and it offers a better learning environment for me and everyone else on campus.”

He said his teachers also enjoy having more kids on campus at a time.

On the flip side, sophomore Chloe Lynn prefers the two-day schedule. “I am still adjusting to going back to school, and the four-day schedule is a little overwhelming. But I enjoy seeing more of my friends.”

The majority of students are a little on the fence about the increase of in-person school days. But it is definitely beneficial in the long run, and more students are likely to realize that soon.

Carly Pavlik is a sophomore at La Jolla High School.