School: To return to campus or remain at home

On Jan. 11, Bellarmine returned to a 25% in-person rotation. Students were granted approval to attend in-person classes for one A-B rotation every two weeks. Returning to campus was not mandatory, and many students chose to continue learning from home. Because only 25% of students could be on campus, classes were still held on Zoom for the majority of students at home. Regardless, students from all grades had many different reasons for returning or remaining at home.

One student who returned was junior Sophie Gould. She said, “I hope for more motivation in getting back to work because I feel somewhat stuck at home. I anticipated having actual discussions with teachers and classmates instead of looking at blank Zoom screens.” Gould also looked forward to seeing classmates, some of whom she has not seen in 10 months.

Sophomore Roman Thomas, who also made his way back to the hill said, “Learning at home has become very boring and I don’t feel as engaged. I was fine with it in the beginning thinking it would only be temporary, but having to do it this long has gotten very tiring and I don’t feel I am learning as much.” Thomas feels that in person learning is more interactive because learning online is too limited. He too feels that going to physical campus will help his motivation and add variation to his normally repetitive schedule. He mainly looks forward to the stronger engagement with teachers and other students.

Some students made the tough decision to remain in distance learning, due to specific COVID concerns, or continuing a routine. Junior Emma George sacrificed her in-person learning to protect others. She said, “I am not going back because it does not seem to be worth it to only go back to school twice during an entire month. Also, my parents are teachers who are around little kids all day, everyday. It makes sense for me to remain home instead, where it is safer. George hopes to return to campus when 50% of students are permitted. She looks forward to seeing people in-person rather than on a screen. George also feels that school in-person will be less difficult because of the minimal distractions.

Senior Ashley Uskovich remained at home, giving up precious moments of her senior year because of the lack of change she feels in-person learning will bring. She said, “I am not returning to school for the 25% because teachers have said they will be conducting class the same as now and the only difference is that four or five students will be in the classroom. The teachers will still be on zoom with a majority of the class, meaning that much will remain the same. After discussions with my parents and peers, I have decided it is best if I stay home until class will be taught in a different manner.” When Uskovich eventually returns, she looks forward to making the most of a senior year she has been robbed thus far.

No matter students’ decisions to either remain at home or come to campus, Bellarmine is putting their effort towards the students. From accommodating carpool rotations to sanitizing campus daily, Bellarmine has so far done an admirable job looking out for its community. In the coming months, hope for a full return to campus will become more foreseeable.

The readerboard welcomes back students. (Jeanne Hanigan)