One New Normal: Photos of a School Still Rocked by Pandemic.

It’s not over yet.


Sam Ewaskiewicz

Two classes on a mask break in the morning.

Penns Valley is very different this year. Restrictions due to COVID-19 have been loosened somewhat from last year, but they still loom large in the everyday school life. This article contains pictures of that school life, taken throughout the day on Tuesday, September 22nd.

Mr. Baldwin, an English teacher, speaks to an online student. (Sam Ewaskiewicz)
Three students working with one online student. (Sam Ewaskiewicz)

Some students have had no choice but to attend school online, whether from COVID-positive family members or close contact. This has been difficult for some, as online learning makes it very difficult to participate in activities at the same level as in person students.

The C lunch period. (Sam Ewaskiewicz)

The lunch period looks similar to last year, equidistant desks arranged in alternate rows filling the whole lunchroom. Not pictured are the old circular tables folded and pushed against the wall, which one can only assume were set up as usual before the rethinking of the guidelines mere days before school began.

Masked students walk past a mural on their way to lunch (Sam Ewaskiewicz)

The halls are the same as they’ve been in pre-pandemic years. Throngs of students fill them every passing period, with no more one ways, the old ways of going with the flow of traffic return. The crowds of students are a comforting sight to some, but to others it may put them on edge, so many people so close together.

Two classes on a mask break in the morning. (Sam Ewaskiewicz)
Students working at their laptops on a mask break (Sam Ewaskiewicz)

Mask breaks are back with a passion, and now are much more organized: a 10 minute mask break every period, weather permitting.

Penns Valley has been changed by the pandemic, perhaps permanently. It remains to be seen how many of the guidelines will remain next year, and the year after that. It will take time to recover, and I for one am excited to see how it goes.