Class of 2021: Del Campo HS senior adjusts to return to in-person learning

Local News

In 'Class of 2021,' FOX40 will follow a group of students whose senior year was upended by the coronavirus pandemic, documenting their challenges and accomplishments.

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FAIR OAKS, Calif. (KTXL) — Del Campo High School students have spent the majority of the school year learning from their homes behind a computer screen. Now, they’re back on campus adapting to in-person learning.  

“You walk through the hallways, and … the people you once used to know and you once used to talk to and see every single day, they’re kind of like strangers now,” Abby Biebl described.

The first days back on campus have been far from familiar for high school senior Biebl.

“Just normal stuff I used to do felt really odd,” she explained. “But it just felt weird to see everyone kind of be shy, to walk six feet next to each other or sit next to each other in class or to talk to each other. It’s very odd.”

Social distancing isn’t hard to do in classrooms, with a fraction of the students coming back in person.

The students have been broken up into cohorts, only attending classes on campus two days a week.

“There was a lot of people who got really used to their schedules at home and not having to be at school,” Biebl said. 

Many high schoolers have opted to stay off campus altogether and continue distance learning.

“A lot of my friends have stayed completely in Cohort C, which is the one where they stay completely at home, and they love it,” Biebl said. “They love not having to wake up at 8 a.m. They wake up at like, 12 because that’s when the afternoon online portion starts.”

She, on the other hand, had been looking forward to being back on campus for months.

“I wanted to be in person as much as I could just to get as much hands-on learning as I possibly could,” She said. 

Biebl said she’s already noticed how much of a difference learning in-person makes.

“I’m definitely more focused. I’m more mentally and physically present in what I’m doing, you know? I spent a whole year being online and really not being present,” she explained.

Although the hallways are less crowded than before, Biebl said she wants to take every opportunity to make the most of her last two months of high school.

“Just like walking through the hallways, it brings like a sense of normalcy back to my life, and that’s something that’s been gone the last year,” she said. “Being back has been nice. It’s been nice just to kind of go back to normal.”

Biebl also told FOX40 the pandemic has made her grateful for many of the things she used to take for granted, like driving through the crowded parking lot after school and meeting new people in her classes.

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