Coming Back: How Does North Atlanta Return to Normalcy?


Jennifer Allred

The Road Home: Warriors this week ponder their options for returning to the building.

With a return to the building becoming a probable option for schools across the nation, North Atlanta currently faces a difficult decision when considering student and employee safety. For NAHS, three options sit on the table, and with the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic looming in the background, this decision becomes ever more burdensome. Both North Atlanta and Atlanta Public Schools’ administrative leaders must come to a compromise when choosing between the following: Returning to the building, remaining in a virtual classroom environment, or rolling out a hybrid format – where students alternate between a virtual and a face-to-face classroom setting.

Even though it may not be their decision to ultimately make, students and their adult supervisors should definitely consider what they feel to be the best decision in this matter. Whether or not they feel comfortable with a return to the building is something that should be taken into account by administrators when making these important decisions for the district and school. Junior Pete Whitlock, for one, came to the conclusion that students should go back to the building. “I feel pretty tired of the online learning environment,” Whitlock said. “I think it’s best to go back to face-to-face learning or a hybrid format.”

Whitlock also noted that learning online may be a cause of a sharp decline in academic performance. He mentioned that a return to school could bring about grade improvements for students, and this was how a lot of his friends were feeling as well. Whitlock feels that with the right safety measures in place, doing away with the virtual setting in some manner would be a massive benefit for students.

North Atlanta, however, faces a large predicament when it comes to laying out these safety measures. With a tight-knit student population that has reached over 2,000 in recent years, along with hundreds of other teachers and staff members in the building, laying out safety measures will be something North Atlanta finds much more difficult compared to the rest of their APS family of schools. Junior Sam Jackson said he definitely senses North Atlanta struggling with this process. “Getting the student body to comply with all the safety measures will be tough,” Jackson said. “When you go to class it’s typically pretty crowded in the hallways, so they have a difficult task at hand for sure.”

Laying out the safety measures for the student body to return to the building (in some manner) isn’t the most difficult step of the process. Rather, getting them to comply will be the most challenging and crucial step for North Atlanta. With a rumored decision being made on Monday, deciding between these three options could easily be one of the most important decisions for this school in its 29-year history.