2021-22 School Year to Bring Some Return to Normalcy


©Brian J. Matis CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Next year should be much closer to normal in terms of students in classrooms, but a lot can happen over the summer.

Next school year will look a lot different after COVID-19, but by now, changing our routine is the new normal.

We have only been doing four days a week for a few weeks. Now, this might not seem like a big deal, but schools have been closed since last March when the Coronavirus was in its early stages. School ends in about a month. So, what’s next school year going to look like?

Fairfax county(FCPS) sent out a newsletter on March 16, 2021, to teachers and parents and then released it to the public, stating that they want everyone back in school full capacity, five days a week in the fall.  This goal might seem unrealistic, but 12 to 15-year-olds have been getting vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are going to try and limit virtual classes to as minimal as possible and to try and get that sense of normality back with a traditional five days a week in person,” Principal Dr. Jim Patrick explained.
Regulations for next year are likely to include a social distance of three feet, and masks will most likely be required, but that information could change at any time, so Dr. Patrick advocates keeping an eye out for changes and communications from the Superintendent over the summer.

The asynchronous Mondays currently enjoyed by students and teachers alike will no longer be part of the schedule.

“I prefer four days [a week with asynchronous Monday] because then we get one day off to catch up on work and sleep in,” said student Kate B. Kate did point out, however, that the asynchronous Monday, though good for well being, could get tedious.

“Asynchronous days and bell schedules are all determined by Fairfax county,” Dr. Patrick explained.

Since they have stated they want students back five days, it is unlikely we will keep the asynchronous day. The current status is that a block schedule will most likely be the norm next year, a big change for Longfellow, which used to go to all seven classes plus Lancer Time every day.

While Dr. Patrick didn’t mention any additional notable changes, he did comment on the idea of change.

“Over the last 12 months, we have all become a little more comfortable with change. Just don’t anticipate that school will look the same [as it did] pre-pandemic. I know that it’s going to be a huge adjustment for everyone. But I do believe next year we will have some sort of normalcy.”