Students make anticipated return to Riverside for in-person classes.

By Eden Richman, Victoria Alcindor and Jacob Hindman

Durham Public Schools has officially opened schools and allows students to learn in person at full capacity, with some reinforcements to help prevent the spread of COVID throughout the school. This has posed new challenges for the Riverside community.

Packed hallways, confusing bell schedules, and uncharted social situations left students and staff with mixed emotions. 

“It feels stressful being back,” freshman Simon Atkins said. “Riverside is much bigger than middle school, and I still feel like a sixth grader. I don’t want to get to know new people.”

Upperclassmen agreed. “The first day of school was stressful,” said junior Tylyk Hoves. “There was a lot of movement and a lot of people in the halls.” 

Students also shared safety concerns. 

“Everyone doesn’t wear their masks properly,” said junior Kahleem Bostic.

“It feels unsafe to be back during the pandemic,” Hoves added.

Tayshawn Horton agreed. “I would rather go back to doing school online,” he said.  

Despite these challenges and concerns, many teachers and students agreed that returning to in-person was a good thing. For more than half of Riverside’s students, it’s their first time physically on campus. The freshman class alone has over 600 students, and because of virtual learning the sophomore class of 300-plus students have also missed out on in-person school.

Despite being a sophomore Anika Rayburn has only attended Riverside virtually, so Tuesday she was excited to take classes on campus for the first time. 

“I’ve never been here, so it was really strange because I’m not used to all the people,” Rayburn said. “I will get used to it though.”

Freshman Giovani Dubon agrees, “I learn better in-person,” Dubon said. “It’s really good to see the teachers. There’s a lot of people!”

Assistant principal Jeremy Eddie supervises a hallway as classes change during the first week of school. All Riverside students returned for in-person instruction for the first time since March 2020.
Photo by Isaac Janiak Stein

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