NDP students are coming back to campus starting September 8. As we all get back to our routine, there are lots of new protocols to cover. 

Online learning has not been a very positive change to the NDP community according to a few students . Thankfully, with the permission of the Diocese of Phoenix, NDP has been granted permission to bring students back to campus. Every student has been given the opportunity to choose between a hybrid schedule and online schedule. The students who chose to come back to school using the hybrid schedule will now be getting back to NDP campus depending on which group they are in, purple or gold.

There are mixed emotions going around as students get used to the new schedule. With the number of students on campus being cut in half, there are also many split friendships. It has been announced by the Principle of NDP, Jill Platt, that they will not be accepting requests for students to switch groups at the time. 

“I wish they would organize houses differently, I would rather just choose which days we get so I can see my friends,” said Mia Lucchesi, sophomore at NDP.

Although many students are weary about the split schedule, that is not the only thing on their minds. There are many new protocols that the NDP administration has put out to ensure our safety while handling over hundreds of students during this pandemic. These new guidelines vary from wearing a mask to minimum seating at lunch. It seems as students, although uncomfortable, are willing to wear their mask throughout the school day. Lucchesi stated that she “is okay with wearing a mask as long as everyone else does too.”

One concern for students like Lucchesi is social distancing. “I know no one is going to social distance because everyone is going to be hugging each other.

Another sophomore at NDP, Jennifer Weingel, agrees with Lucchesi. “I have not seen a lot of my friends in so long, I’m most excited to get to see and talk to them,” Weingel said.

To many students, school was a way of connecting with their peers rather than just calling and texting. Due to the pandemic many of the students have lost that connection and it will be very difficult for them to refrain from touching and embracing each other. 

The new change in schedule has not only affected our students but has also affected our NDP staff. Ms. Woloschuk, a biology teacher at NDP was able to share how this has affected her schedule. 

“As a teacher, it has been a very difficult transition. Most of us haven’t been trained to teach online classes, so we had a lot of technology to learn over the summer!” Woloschuk said.

Our teachers have been working tirelessly to make sure that students get the education they need. Many of the NDP teachers have taught for so long, teaching online is a whole other story. 

Although the hybrid schedule is a very big jump from online school and many students are hoping to get everyone in school. “I am often concerned that students are feeling forgotten or left in the dust- it’s so much easier to support them when I get to see them in person throughout the week.” Woloschuk said. 

There have been so many changes to the new school year but with the help of our peers and NDP faculty, we can do this.