Opening our doors, but not the front entrance: Schreiber’s reopening and construction


Alex Parker, Staff Writer

Last year, Schreiber was missing one vital element during the ten months school was in session: our student body.  Yes, there were students in the school, but for nine of those ten months, less than half of the student population was in the building at any given time.  Even when the hybrid model ceased, a significant number of students remained home alone where school was merely a video on their screens.  However, this year is much different as school is fully in-person for the 2021-22 school year.

The return of a fully in-person school has generally been embraced by students, although mask mandates are still in effect.  Students must wear masks at all times while inside the building (except while eating), and while eating inside the building they must stay socially distanced at six feet.  Desks remain three feet apart, although live labs are once again being performed in the science wing. 

“I think it’s good that we are going back to school.  I’m glad that we can come back even if it’s with masks. Learning in person is definitely more effective,” said sophomore Ian Laurence. 

Previously, students were forced to sit in front of their computers — at home and on Google Meet — for hours at a time without the benefit of a school environment.  The shift into a more engaging learning environment has been noticeable for all.  

“I think that the reopening of school is a good idea because it is very difficult to learn online and it’s more enjoyable to be with your friends than sitting alone in your room,” said senior Jacqueline Atchley. 

One of the most welcome aspects of the reopening is the return of clubs and activities in full swing. 

“I am excited to report that in-person meetings for clubs are back!  Students are urged to get involved with Schreiber’s many offerings.  If you missed this week’s club fair, take a look at the school website for details about each one,” said Assistant Principal Ms. Kristen Anisis. 

Indeed, the reopening of clubs is a great opportunity to get involved with student life at Schreiber now that student life is no longer merely virtual.  Indoor sports have returned to full spectatorship, so anyone who wishes can watch students’ athletic endeavours.  

“I am very happy that fans are back at games. You can really feel a difference when there’s a full crowd,” said senior Jack Taylor. 

Additionally, outdoor sports do not require masks anymore, although they are still required for all athletes during indoor sports.

“I am pleased that clubs and athletics are back at full strength,” said Principal Dr. Ira Pernick, who also congratulates the students on the way they are working to keep the school safe. 

Clubs are returning to structures that resemble pre-pandemic conditions.  Honor societies such as the Foreign Language Honor Society are able to meet in person and host in-person events for the school again.  Moreover, Schreiber Drama Club is returning to performing onstage after a year and a half of virtual performances.  

“I feel so grateful that in-person arts education is back.  There’s only so much you can do online or hybrid, and to have the environment of in-person collaboration back is a gift,” said junior Gaia Dash. 

Clubs like Drama Club that are inherently collaborative had a tough time before school reopened, but now they are returning to a semblance of normalcy.

A new sight on the campus this year are the large piles of dirt and construction fences obstructing the front entrance and past the cafeteria.  According to Dr. Pernick, a new main entrance is being constructed that involves plans for a larger cafeteria.  This will continue the construction that renovated the cafeteria this past summer and made lunch lines easier to access.

The new addition will also include a staircase from the cafeteria leading up to the Commons.  Additionally, Schreiber will be receiving a new technology space for new and current technology education courses.

“The space will be state of the art,” said Dr. Pernick.  

Currently, students must enter and exit the building through the visitor entrance, the cafeteria entrance, the A wing doors, and the doors to the main stairwell.  The lack of a main entrance is leading to increased congestion and crowded hallways, especially through the main hallway, which has always had a crowding issue. 

Dr. Pernick is aware of the inconveniences caused by the construction, such as the obligatory use of smaller, out-of-the-way entrances and the increased bottlenecking in the halls because students cannot exit through the lobby.  He says that “the outcome will be special” even though the construction is “disruptive.”

Clearly, there are both positive and negative short-term aspects of the reopening.  While the cameras and Google Meets are hopefully a thing of the past, masks are still required and our lovely school has no front door.  Still, Schreiber has risen to the challenge, excited by the return of in-person learning and after-school activities with other people since adequate human contact and interaction was denied so many students due to the pandemic.  Eventually, the construction walls will be torn down and mask mandates will no longer be necessary.  All we have to do is wait.