What Will Next School Year Look Like?


Photo illustration courtesy of Mr. Crisafi

The Benjamin School administration is not sure if the School will be fully opened when the 2020-21 year begins in August.

Two months, four months, seven months? The amount of time until COVID-19 is over seems to vary quite a bit. Some think that the peak of the virus has already passed and we should be opening schools and business. Others think that we haven’t seen the worst of it yet, and that re-opening businesses is just going to make the virus pick back up again. That makes the question of whether or not we will return to school in the fall a tricky one to answer.

According to floridapolitics.com, a Re-Open Florida Task Force Group is working under the assumption that schools will be reopening in the fall and have started to make preparations. However, since the state has recently opened up several businesses, there has been a small spike in the number of  coronavirus cases.

Whether these spikes increase or decrease, the Middle School is prepared.

“I do have a plan drafted for the Middle School ,” wrote Head of Middle School Mr. Charles Hagy in an email to The Neersyde.  “To be brief, we are planning for three scenarios: (1) normal instruction, (2) online instruction, and (3) every scenario in between.  Social distancing, hygiene measures, and other health measures will be put in place, as well, based on the situation. It is important to have the perspective that we cannot continue to try to make school fit into our current paradigm and will need to think out of the box to address this issue. I’m going to have us ready for Opening Day on August 18.  Based on the situation, we may need to delay opening, open remotely, or do something in between.”

While the school is already working to begin the 2020-21 school year, the student’s opinions on whether we will actually be returning seem to vary.

“I think we will be able to go back to school in August because that is a long time from now, and the virus will probably clear up by then,” said seventh grader Isabella Giovani.

“I don’t think we’ll go back because the virus will only get stronger because most viruses do if a cure isn’t found within six months,” said fellow seventh grader Christopher Tighe. “I think it will be at least a year before we go back.”

There really is no definite answer for whether or not TBS students will be able to return in the fall, but all the School can do is wait and see. 

TBS will need to be nimble enough to transition instruction for each of these situations,” said Hagy. “The health and safety of students and teachers is at the forefront of this planning.”