North Returns to In-Person Instruction


The return of in-person learning and activities at North High has, understandably, been delightful for many. “I’m very excited to get experience going out with friends again,” said sophomore Anna Goldman.

However, school is not exactly the same as it was before or even during the pandemic.  Several protocols have changed, and in some cases, their inconsistent enforcement has led to some concerns from students. 

With the shift from hybrid to full-time has come an increase in the number of students back in the classroom, and some relaxing of previous distancing restrictions.  Rather than the spacing of six feet, in order to accommodate all the students, seats are now set up with a “minimum of three feet of distance, where possible” according to the district’s website guidelines. However, in the practice it often feels like the “where possible” is doing  a lot of work since the “three feet of a distance” is often difficult given the size of the space and number of students. In several classrooms desks are touching one another. 

 Desks, seen in a typical classroom, are quite close together. (Credit: Ava Hoffman)

With the increased transmission of the Delta variant, some students remain concerned at the inconsistent enforcement of mask wearing in school. Experts strongly believe that unless masks are covering their nose and mouth completely they are ineffective at preventing transmission. The sporadic enforcement of the policy in halls and classrooms has some students concerned about their health and safety. In regards to the wearing of masks in school, junior Evalina Alijaj said “I definitely don’t appreciate it, as it makes situations really awkward and uncomfortable.

While many student activities are now running close to normal at full capacity, certain practices that were started last year to reduce overall attendance in the building have been continued into this year. Open House and some other parent events continue to be virtual, in an effort to reduce the amount of unnecessary people in a building. 

With some of these changes, despite some of the mixed enforcement, there have not been any major COVID-19 outbreaks among the students and faculty as of yet. No doubt increasing availability of vaccination has played a huge part in this, and while parts of Great Neck North are among the lowest percentage vaccinated on Long Island, the hope is as more staff and students continue to get vaccinated these protocols will be sufficient in an full return to normalcy and we can go back to enjoying the school environment in the way we all used to love.