Summit School District students happy to be back to in-person learning

Summit School District students happy to be back to in-person learning

Children wait in line to begin their first day of kindergarten at Dillon Valley Elementary School on Aug. 25. Summit students are happy to be learning in person with their friends this school year.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

After more than a year of online and hybrid learning, students within Summit School District are eager to be back in person with their peers and teachers.

Summit High School junior Summer Ashley said being back in person is a bit chaotic and that it feels like there are more kids in school than there used to be. Last year, she took classes completely online through the district.

“During quarantine, when I was doing school online, I was kind of less social, so now when I’m back to school, it’s weird because I need to be more social now,” Ashley said. “It’s really cool, though. It’s fun, and I think it’s a little bit easier in a way because I can get help with my schoolwork, and I’m able to just work on communication.”

While she was doing classes completely online, Ashley said she missed taking art classes the most. This semester, she is enrolled in two art classes through Colorado Mountain College, meaning she can get college credit for them, too.

Looking back at school pre-pandemic, Ashley said she thinks she is more organized and put together now that she spent a year focusing on little else other than school.

Ashley also said it is great to be able to see her friends in person again and that she is glad students don’t have to be in cohorts.

“Even though we have to wear masks, I’m glad we don’t have to (be in cohorts), and we don’t have to be 6 feet apart,” Ashley said.

Forrest Woodard is in eighth grade at Summit Middle School and said being able to spend time with friends is what he missed most about in-person classes.

“It’s pretty fun seeing all my friends again,” Woodard said.

While he also took only online classes last year, he said the only differences he sees in school now are that kids have to wear masks and sit spread apart during lunch.

Summit High School junior Alex Espinoza said being back in person has made him feel much better as he struggled with online classes last year. He took advantage of the hybrid model Summit School District offered, attending classes in person some days and online the rest.

“It’s so much better. I love it,” Espinoza said about being back in person full time. “It’s much easier for me. I’ve been turning my work in on time now, as soon as I get it done in class, I turn it in so I don’t have to worry about it.”

Espinoza said he missed being able to communicate with his teachers and added that it is easier for him to stay on task having classes back in person.

Miles Vaille is a sophomore at Snowy Peaks, and while last year the school was mostly in person, Vaille said it is fun being able to spend more time with friends this year.

“We get to do more activities, and we have been doing big group activities as a whole school instead of last year we had to do smaller group activities,” Vaille said. “It just feels different because we still have to wear a mask, but we’re still able to hang out with friends.”

Vaille also said he thinks it is easier having in-person classes and being able to get help from teachers as needed.

Summit Middle School eighth grader Mateo Strachan said he missed actually having a teacher in front of him since he did school entirely online last year.

“It feels good having a teacher right there and being able to learn with all my friends,” Strachan said. “I was probably most excited to be able to hang out with all my friends.”

Kai Smith just started sixth grade and said he likes being in person much more than being online.

Smith also said he likes that being back in person at school takes up more of his day. While he did hybrid learning last year, he said he would finish all his work early on remote learning days and have the rest of the day off with not much to do. He said interacting with his friends again has been the best part of being back as well as learning the ins and outs of the middle school.

“I did talk to my friends on video calls, but you can’t really play with them,” Smith said. “I can talk to them and do stuff. I think it’s cool what you can do on video chat, but being in person is more exciting.”

Back to blog