Freshmen’s first full year of in-person learning since sixth grade


Ethan Dobbins

Freshman cavalier Isaac Dobbins standing in front of the school’s entrance.

As Covid-19 begins to die down, being back in the building is a change of scenery for many students. Freshman, however, who have not had a full year of in-person learning since sixth grade, have suffered the greatest loss in terms of in-person education. Having basically graduated from the beginning of middle school to a freshman in high school, current Clover Hill freshmen have taken a huge leap, traveling forward in time to a whole new world of learning. 

The class of 2025 had a very unique middle school experience. With their seventh grade year cut short due to Covid-19 and their entire eighth grade year online, this will be their first full year of in-person schooling. 

Isaac Dobbins, a freshman at Clover Hill who has experienced this issue first hand, recalls his lost years of middle school and what it’s like to suddenly be in high school. 

“In seventh grade we got off half way through the year and then during eighth grade they started hybrid learning,” Dobbins said. “That didn’t work out though because a bunch of people were still getting Covid, so they switched to fully online.”

Due to the change in learning, many students have missed out on certain middle school experiences, as well as a gap in their learning. 

Freshman Sarayu Mandalapu, takes comfort in the fact that she, just like many others, are all experiencing this part in history together. 

“For me, since Covid hit during seventh grade I kind of got used to it early on,” Mandalapu said. “Now in high school I’m taking comfort in the fact that everyone else is also confused. Also, when we did eighth grade online the teachers did their very best to make it seem like school, so I still got that kind of school vibe.”

Since students returned to the building, freshmen teachers have begun to reintroduce students to the world of in-person learning, while steering away from an online attitude. 

Photography teacher Amanda Berneche has noticed subtle behavioral differences in her freshmen as a result of online learning. 

“I don’t notice any horrible transition behavior,” Berneche said. “However, I will notice that my first period, which is a lot of freshmen, is actually really quiet. I think that they forget that they can talk to their peers, whereas with my upper level classes they’re just so used to talking to each other because they’ve been in a high school environment before.”

Overall, this year’s freshmen, while in an unfamiliar environment, have the advantage of being around students who experienced the same circumstances they have.