The Rappahannock Center for Education (RappCE), the adult education and workforce training organization based in Sperryville, Va., sent Luke Christopher and I back to school this spring — specifically to Rappahannock County High School, to make a short documentary on what it's been like to be in high school during the coronavirus pandemic. Particularly for the majority of Rappahannock residents, most of whom are well beyond their children-in-school years, it was an eye-opening education.
The 12-minute video, "High School . . . Interrupted," released this week by RappCE, makes it clear that students and staff have never worked harder and had less fun than they have since March of 2020, when Virginia canceled the school year and Rappahannock County Public Schools, like school districts around the state, scrambled to find and institute virtual-learning options. Last fall, Rappahannock schools — unlike nearly every other school district in Northern Virginia — came back with a hybrid schedule of in-person/virtual learning. And in April of this year, students who'd been coming to school just two days a week, learning online the other three, were able to come back to school four days a week. Although the year was far from normal for seniors in the classes of 2020 and 2021, it seems to have made a difference.
In "High School . . . Interrupted," you'll see how anxious and weird the past year was for teachers, students and parents — but how, thanks to the school district's small, close-knit community, they've proven to be a resilient lot.
And it's clear how much everyone looks forward to a newer "new normal" this coming fall.