Students resume in-person classes with coed adjustments

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Noah David '22

Students watch a presentation in Christopher Fern’s history class.

Classrooms at Archbishop Riordan High School are now occupied by both young men and women. As a result of Riordan welcoming young women onto their campus, classes have now become coed environments, which is new to many.

The new coed environment has taken longer to adjust to, as the first coed year was mostly on Zoom. Everyone at Riordan has had to get used to having a coed student body, including the teachers, who seemed to have a positive outlook on it.

Debra Jensen, Spanish instructor, has noticed a smooth transition, stating, “There was a dynamic, where they seem to be very content. I’ve noticed a lot of integration, so it seems to be working out and I was pleased to see that.”

Teachers have also been changing up their lesson plans and adjusting to the new members in the classroom.

Diana Assereto, English instructor, said, “The literature we are reading this year has complicated female characters. I chose the books based on student feedback from last year when we became a coed school. I’m looking forward to our class discussions about Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker, and Myrtle Wilson, from The Great Gatsby now that the classes are mixed. One focus will be women’s rights, and the changing attitudes and social norms of the time period compared to present day.”

Riordan, once San Francisco’s oldest all-boys school, was established in 1949 and became a co-educational institution in the fall of 2020. For the first coed year, most classes were held via Zoom so the students never got the full “coed experience.” However, with the improved conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, all students were welcomed onto

campus full-time this year. They are experiencing the coed environment in their classes and getting used to a new Riordan.

Jamm Magaling ’22 stated, “I was really excited to have coed classes, seeing new faces and meeting new people. It’s been about a month, and classes have been very enjoyable as the new women add so much to the class and its overall atmosphere.”

The young women also seem to be getting used to this new environment.

Marcella Fabre ’23 said, “Coming from Mercy SF, I was used to being in a classroom full of girls, yet the single sex environment was never a deal breaker for me. I loved Mercy for the confidence that it showed me, and the environment prepared me to work in any classroom setting, regardless of gender.”

She added, “I knew that coed classes would be different than what I was used to, but I believe the transition was smooth, especially at Riordan, where like Mercy, community is strong and welcoming.”