The Start of the 2021-2022 School Year at PDS Has Been a Great Success


(Artwork/Kayla Zhang ’24)

Gloria Wang, Online Staff Writer

After a year of hybrid learning, faculty and staff worked hard to bring every student back on campus this Fall. Though students are facing a few challenges, overall, the start of this new school year has been outstanding. As the Interim Head of Upper School, Mr. Rhodes noted: “Going from hybrid learning to on-campus learning is a big change. We recognized that many students weren’t used to being at school, and we want them to feel comfortable. That’s why for the first two days we had a special schedule for students to adjust.”

This year’s theme at PDS is “belonging.” To promote this theme, the school followed a special schedule for two days allowing students to socialize with each other and build community. Sophomore Carol Zhang mentioned, “I was really excited to see my friends when school started, and I am very grateful that we had the chance to catch up with each other before school actually starts.” Similarly, Ninth Grade Dean Stefanie Santangelo described, “The opening of the school year set a really positive tone. With two days that devoted a lot of time to playing, reconnecting with friends, faculty, and classmates, I think we all had a chance to reacclimate to what it means to be with each other. I loved it!” 

Still, there are inevitable differences and adjustments for many students who were hybrid or virtual last year. Sophomore Kayla Zhang commented, “Compared to last year, school is both easier and harder this year after we got rid of virtual schooling.” Last year, many students faced the challenge of having to learn from home. Being back to school means being able to concentrate during class and eating lunch with friends, but it also presents the challenge of losing sleep. Despite all that, most students are very grateful to be back at school. As sophomore Colleen Mayers noted, “School is going very well so far. I am very glad to be back on campus.”

Taking into consideration feedback from both faculty and students, it seems that the start of the 2021-2022 school year at PDS has been a great success.