High School Students Return to Campus
Students returned to campus the week of August 24 to find countless COVID-related changes to buildings, the grounds, classrooms, and the covered faces of peers, teachers, and staff. What hasn't changed is the spirit, optimism, and flexibility of the entire community.
Though smiles were hidden behind face coverings, students' eyes lit up when they reunited in person with friends and teachers for the first time since March 6.
"It's amazing to see all of my friends again," said Brian Rocca '22. "It seems like forever since we were together."
New students were equally enthusiastic about being back in school and learning how to navigate campus.
"The campus is beautiful. It's much bigger than my old school, but it feels welcoming and personable. I love it!," said Christi McGaffigan '24. "The tour at orientation was super helpful."
New students arrived on Monday, August 24, toured the campus, and participated in ice-breaker activities. New and returning students attended orientation on Tuesday and Wednesday, which included extensive training on health-and-safety protocols, COVID mitigation strategies, and the MyMedBot app. Students also rotated though several engaging activities that tapped their creativity and got their blood flowing, such as kayaking, Frisbee golf, laser cutting, tie-dye mask making, yoga, lawn games, and more. Remote students also received training on health-and-safety protocols and COVID mitigation strategies. They also discussed the challenges of high school and shared thoughts and strategies, participated in an identity-mapping activity, met with faculty, and more.
"Students and teachers have been doing a great job as we begin the year," said Head of School Bill Barrett. "Of course, there are many adjustments to make, but the fact that everyone is together either in person or remotely has been exciting and is carrying everyone through this transition. Our theme this year is flexibility and so far everyone has been up to the challenge!"
For the 2020–2021 school year, Landmark's 271 High School students are taking classes in-person, remotely, or a combination of the two, so many classes include a mix of both. Students and teachers used the first two days of classes, on Thursday and Friday, to adjust to the new format and work out any glitches.
"Having some kids remote is really different. The teachers sometimes have to repeat themselves so remote kids can hear, and the teachers have to move around so kids can see what they are showing us," said Brian.
"After a few classes, the remote students seem like they are in class with us," said Emily Desrochers '24.