Richland students, parents share excitement over full-time return to school

RICHLAND, Wash. – After all three Tri-Cities school boards voted to bring back all student for full, in-person instruction, Richland students said they’re excited to make up for lost time.

“It was completely taken away from us, and I think a lot of people like we understand, we understand why and what’s happening what’s going on in the world but I mean it is still disappointing for us,” Jade Villanueva, a Senior at Richland High School said.

She referred to senior year; what’s supposed to be an exciting time, turned into a year full of adjustments and restrictions.

“It’s just very sad, you find yourself wishing you could go back to school, wishing you could see your friends, wishing you could participate in sports, everything you could do your senior year,” she said.

Her classmate Spencer Crithfield agrees, and added remote learning has been a challenge.

“It’s so easy to be distracted, like you have your phone right there, you can click on a different tab you can have your camera off, there’s a bunch of different factors that make it really difficult to really get the most out of Zoom learning,” the senior said.

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For mother Shelly Burt, the news of full time instruction is especially exciting. Her son lives with a sensory disorder and ADHD, in addition to other learning disabilities.

She said for him, being out of the classroom has been a struggle and he thrives when he has structure.

“That’s gonna be really big for him because it’s not good for kids in the special ed classes to only go two days or four days a week, they need that structure. It’s gonna be really beneficial as long as they don’t put all these crazy restrictions in place where the kids can’t play together or socialize,” Burt explained.

For Jade, when the districts initially made their announcement, she was skeptical.

“Are they really gonna have all 2000 plus students at school at one time?” she questioned.

Now, the Richland senior and Spencer just hope to have the remainder of their senior year, even if it’s a month and a half long.

“It’s huge, it’s a lot more important than people realize. You kinda (sic) took it for granted until it was gone,” Spencer said.

“I’m very happy that that’s what’s happening, it’s nice to see everyone at school, it’s nice to feel somewhat normal,” Jade added.

Richland students will return to class on April 19th. The Pasco School Board still hasn’t announced when their high schoolers will return for full, in-person learning.