Students, teachers say goodbye at Old Colony book return

Jun 16, 2020

ROCHESTER — The school bells still rang inside the building, but the students of Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School weren’t inside. Instead, they said brief goodbyes as they returned books to teachers and administrators on the morning of June 16.

Dean of Students Gary Linehan said although it’s a book return, it’s “important to have closure with the students and see their teachers.” 

Susan Soucy, a computer science teacher at Old Colony, said that it’s nice “just being able to see them for the first time in three months.”

Although other departments faced challenges, she said her students essentially didn’t lose anything. Her sophomores all finished their AP exams, and her freshmen are ahead of their learning schedule.

Andre Arsenault, a culinary arts teacher, said it was good to see his students in-person because seeing them online is different to him.

Like Soucy, he had an easier time than most educators. He gave kitchen demonstrations, and students made dishes based on what they had at home.

Students will have to relearn a lot more next year, Arsenault said, but the department can now use the technology they used this semester going forward.

Soucy echoed this point, and said she can use pre-recorded lessons so students can watch them before having to ask her for help. She also saw a personal confidence increase in many of her students.

This past week, students reflected on the past semester, what life lessons they learned, and what is happening in the nation today.

As an administrator, Linehan said he saw teachers educate students on self-discipline during the shutdown, and how they could use the skill to apply themselves in the future.