When school resumed after spring break, there were many changes on campus. In addition to a new artificial lawn by the senior pavilion and sleek new cafeteria doors, seventh through ninth grade students were back on campus together instead of being split up into Alpha-Omega groups.
As announced via email by HBA President Ron Shiira, “[M]iddle school students will be returning to campus in-person 5 days a week beginning 4th quarter. All students, PreK-12, will be fully in-person for the 2021-2022 school year.” To accommodate this change, classrooms and student cohorts had to be modified. Classrooms needed more desks and a few teachers picked up new sections to teach. English Department co-chair Faye Takushi took on one section of seventh graders. “The seventh graders were pretty excited to see the other half of the grade. The hallways are definitely more crowded and the decibel level is much higher, but in a good way,” she said. Takushi is glad that the students are all back on campus. “The younger students definitely benefit from being in-person five days a week. They are more focused in a physical classroom, and the connection between teacher and students is much, much stronger. I haven’t noticed students being less attentive with all of their friends back, but the energy level is better, so class is more enjoyable,” she said.
Seventh grader Brielle Sumida says that she likes being back on campus because there are fewer distractions, but is still getting used to physically getting to her classes on time. “I prefer to go in person because I feel like I can focus more then when I’m at home I get more distracted. The schedule is easy to follow on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday,and Friday. On Wednesday it’s kind of hard because we only get four minutes of passing and to get to some classes I have to go all the way around to follow the arrows,” she said.
For many students, returning to in-person school four days a week is requiring them to adjust their sleep schedules. Freshman Sammy Choi says that she loves being back in school with all of her friends, but misses being able to sleep in. ‘’I am trying to sleep earlier every day since I now have to wake up early four days a week. At times, I sleep later than I should which results in me being tired throughout the school day. I attempt to at least have three days out of the week where I go to sleep early. I usually get seven or eight hours of sleep on a school night,” she said.
Classmate Preston Gonzalez is glad for the change. “Although everyone complains about early mornings, I don’t mind waking up, and my schedule doesn’t change much since I still have to go to school for volleyball practice regardless of online [school] or not. As time progresses, homework begins to get harder and heavier, especially if you’re lazy and skip work at home like I used to,” he said.