Student Thoughts on Returning to School


Deeanna Dornisch

Wayzata High School is currently in the planning process to transition to full in-person learning by spring.



On February 9th, students and parents/guardians received an email from Principal Gengler explaining this process. Although there is not a confirmed date of return, here is what we do know.


Monday March 1st will be a “planning day” and are required by the Minnesota Department of Education. These days mean students will have no school to give staff an opportunity to prepare for the full return.


In order to return, Gengler said, there will be procedures students must follow every day. This includes completing at home checks to make sure you are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, wearing a mask throughout the school day, maintaining social distance requirements, and practicing frequent hand washing/sanitizing. 


Families will have a choice regarding whether or not their student should attend in person learning. Distance options will be available for the remainder of the school year.


Students have their own opinions on returning to school and their experiences. Recently, the Trojan Tribune conducted a survey on Instagram about these opinions.


In a poll, students were asked “Are you comfortable if we return to school”. 75% (18 votes) voted “yes” while the other 25% (6 votes) voted “no”.


“My mom is VERY high risk for COVID. I don’t want to miss out, but I want to keep my mom safe,” said anonymous.


“I miss my friends so much” said Junior Lauren Persons.


On the next slide, there was a text box available for students to tell how their distance learning experience was. Answers were similar with responses such as “Eh” and “Crappy”.


Persons brought up a new perspective and said “It’s too easy. I’m not learning much”. 


WHS 2020 alum Megan Justesen, now freshman at University of Michigan, said, “I’d say it’s been amazing to get out and meet so many people as well as move away from home and to get the feel of that. The academics are extremely challenging online, however, because so much of it turns into independent work and time management with that is hard,” said Justesen. 


Other students are returning to school more recently. WHS 2020 alum Lauren Lubenow, freshman at Ithaca college, did not get to attend college in person until the spring semester. 


“College life has been honestly really difficult. COVID has made the transition very hard and not what I expected. There are so many rules out in place by the college and the state itself and because of that, we aren’t allowed to hang out with anyone or even eat with anyone. If any of these rules are broken, we may lose our housing, resulting in getting sent home for the semester. 


Overall, I am actually really glad that I came to campus for the spring semester. Yes, it has been extremely difficult and lonely at times, but I know in the long run it is best for me to enjoy the time here that I have and make as many friends as possible before starting my sophomore year” said Lubenow.