Where I teach, students have been on campus at times over the last year: morning cohorts, afternoon cohorts, arranged by need or grade level. Different schedules for different ages, with younger students often able to avail themselves -- or, more accurately, have their grown-ups avail them -- of in-person time at school; meanwhile, high-school teens have remained the furthest from "life as we knew it." We've scaled up or down for a year, in response to Covid's communal degree of communicability.
Amid those ebbs and flows, today marked a milestone. Scheduled classes met this morning for students in grades 6-12. (I understand: it's a milestone in these parts. Others have been operating this way for months if not most of the school year.) Still, I felt momentous hope seeing students processing in to start a day in relative unison. A closer look would reveal we remained a ways from what used to qualify as normal. For example, the halls lacked the tell-tale slamming of lockers (off limits) or the chaotic ricochet of students (now directed by floor arrows to move in straight-ish lines, right to class). Taking attendance involved also verifying via a separate system that all those present had answered health screening questions before their arrival. New hoops, sure, yet also the familiar thrill of being (half)face-to-(half)face exploring what we might learn together.
p.s. Me, I learned I need practice toggling the sound settings on different devices to maximize clear hearing for those in various hybrid modes and minimize (sqweeEE!) feedback.