New School with a New Normal

How the new students at Sandpoint High are adjusting to both a new school and a new educational setting.


Chris Koch

Some common items new students at SHS will need is a map and a bell schedule. Along with that, every student needs a mask in order to attend school.

The first week of school here at Sandpoint High has certainly been different than the past. Students are on edge, there are low levels of interaction between students, and there is an overall sense of disparity lingering from the last school year. It will definitely take some time for students to grow accustomed to the new environment at school.

But, what about the new students here at Sandpoint High School? Not only do they have to partake in these first awkward stages of high school, but they will also have to familiarize themselves with a whole new school and community. This can pave the way for quite the challenge.

Sindy Terronese

Sindy Terronese, a junior who recently moved from California, thought that it would be difficult to make friends at Sandpoint High School stating, “I kind of had lower expectations when it comes to making friends because social distancing.” However, Terronese was happy with SHS’s safety protocols concerning COVID-19. Her response to the question, “Do you feel safe here at school?” was “Yeah I feel safe, everyone keeps their mask on which is cool.”

Aside from this, her transition from Bakersfield to Sandpoint has been pretty easy. “The town is nice,” Terronese said “there’s a lot more things to do…[and] better weather.” Overall, besides the struggle of meeting new people and making friends, the transition has been pretty smooth for her and so far she has had no other complaints.

Taylor Petz

Taylor Petz recently enrolled as a senior and moved to Sandpoint from Bend, Oregon. She had never moved schools before, but despite the process being weird she showed some optomism by saying,”It’s cool, I like everyone here.” With regards to the town of Sandpoint, she thought that it was like her hometown. Petz was happy with the size of the town, “I like small towns,” she said.

However, in regards to the school she thought it was an uncanny transition, “I moved from 6A to 4A…I’m used to a lot of people, but it’s a little bit weird making friends, especially with [a mask]” Petz explained. Again a struggle for new students at Sandpoint High is making new friends because of the lack of interaction between students onset by the COVID-19 protocols.

Hannah Lombard

Hannah Lombardhas moved to Sandpoint from Orfino, Idaho. She liked the size of the school and thought that the size transition has not been difficult, ”I like it way smaller” Lombard said.

She also was used to the shorter class periods. At her high school in Orfino, the class period lengths were shorter than the 55 minute classes SHS has now. This made the new SHS schedule a very easy transition to Lombard. She was already used to getting a lot of information given very fast during class instead of a more slow-paced class period. This has been one of many changes to SHS curriculum this year and Lombard seems like she is all ready to go for this year.


Being the “new kid” at school can always be difficult, but to embark on this task during a pandemic can be strenuous. But, because of the environment in our town and school, it makes the transition from schools much easier for students. In these three cases, everyone seemed content with their long journey ahead at a new school with a new normal.