For the first time in more than a year, high school students in New Haven Public Schools had the option to return to the classroom for in-person learning.
The superintendent, Dr. Iline Tracey, notified parents and wrote:
"Recent data indicates that many of our students are not doing well academically, and attendance is the worst we have seen in a long time."
NBC Connecticut spoke with returning students and parents at Hillhouse High School on Monday.
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“I’m done sitting on my butt at home just to do school because I do better in a learning environment compared to working at home,” said Zamya Adams, a junior at Hillhouse High School.
The district brought high school students back on a hybrid model for two days a week of in-person learning. The other three days, students will continue learning from home.
“A lot of people I know are very skeptical about us going back to school and that’s why I kind of hope there’s not a lot of students compared to the people that are staying home. That’s good because it would keep the risk lower in my opinion,” said Adams.
Ahmad Alzouabi is also a junior at Hillhouse high. He said he did well in school this year, but still felt he could have done better had he been in the classroom.
“It’s really challenging, a lot of anxiety for anyone, but especially for students because they have to manage their classes, their families and stuff,” Alzouabi said.
Alzouabi said he is looking forward to coming back, as is Ingrid Davis’ son.
“He loves school, he misses his friends, he’s tired of being in the house,” said Davis, who has a son in 10th grade.
But Davis said she was nervous about him returning and feels the district could have waited until after spring break next week.
“People are still testing positive for COVID and I’m kind of nervous about that,” said Davis.
Alzouabi said he was happy to be returning to school so they can get a test run in before having the week off.
“I think it’s really an opportunity to start the country as a whole because if you can manage the school system you can manage anything,” said Alzouabi.
The superintendent was not available for comment.