Dr. Arnel on the start of the year

Dr. Arnel sheds some light on the new norm at Central.


Avery Ott

Students walk the halls with masks on as everyone adjusts to the new reality at Central.

Dr. Arnel answers a few questions about the start of the school year and the obvious differences that are impacting our students, staff, and overall learning environment. While reflecting on the first week or two of the year, he pushes emphasis on the importance of two options; in-person and virtual.

Q: How was the start of the school year impacted you personally?

A: It’s been gratifying. We have an incredible faculty and staff, and the way we ended last year was difficult for all of us. I’m so happy we offered the option to do either in-person or virtual as an avenue for students to pursue their education and meet their needs. 

Q: Do you believe coming back to school in-person was a good idea?

A: Yes! It’s always very important to have both options. The virtual option allows our families that have health conditions, anxieties, and things that are very real have their needs met. But, I do think it’s very important for families that want their kids in-person to have that option for them. We’re made to be social creatures, we’re not made to be in isolation. 

Q: If you could, would you have done anything differently?

A: I’d love to not wear masks, you know, I’d love to be able to have one dismissal. I wish we would have understood the depth of work needed to take care of our virtual kids.

Q: How do you think the change is impacting students and teachers?

A: I think it’s good for our brains to be forced to get out of the set mentality or set normalcy. I hope people are becoming more comfortable with being back at school, and I think our virtual kiddos are [more comfortable]. 

Q: Do you think things are going better or worse than you imagined?

A: I think it’s going really well. I’m so proud of our teachers, I’m so proud of our faculty, I’m so proud of our staff, and I’m so proud of our students. I’ve been really pleased with everyone’s attitude and I love how people have responded. 

Q: Any final thoughts or opinions?

A: Well, this is going to be a neat journey to look back on and reflect on how it went. Our kids only get one freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year, so we’ve got to do everything we can to make it memorable.