School systems get creative but is it working? (Editorial)

Heidi Heinlein, Perspectives Editor

The current pandemic has resulted in numerous safety precautions being either mandatory or highly encouraged in order to keep cases down. With these obstacles in mind, many schools have come up with three different systems that they deem effective based on region and current cases.

These common school systems are traditional, meaning that instruction is done fully in person, all online, or a hybrid schedule. They can all appear in slightly different ways, but they all revolve around the same ideas. 

Personally, I would prefer to operate under a fully online atmosphere after having experience with the hybrid option as well as thinking about the risks of traditional.

More than 80 percent of voters want schools to reopen to either fully online or a combination of online and in-person learning as concerns about the spread of the coronavirus continue to grip the country,” A Hill-HarrisX poll finds, “while 40 percent said they think schools should reopen fully online.” (Note: this survey was conducted in July 2020). 

Based on a survey of many other people from all over the world, I am able to infer that I am not alone in my stance for online versus any other option.

CHS has made a few alterations to the hybrid system, some of which are:

  • two groups of students,
  • an hour late start,
  • four periods a day,
  • 70 minute periods,
  • meals in gym and cafeteria,
  • masks always,
  • temperature checks,
  • limited occupancy,
  • and more.

These alterations are meant to be as helpful as possible but have also created new learning obstacles. 

My issue does not revolve around the sometimes frustrating procedures; it is about the lack of relationships able to be built, along with the confusing nature of when assignments are due. More than half of the workweek is fully online while in-person days also involve online work on the side. It can become very stressful and overwhelming with extracurriculars to top it all off. 

In an online atmosphere, students are able to manage their time in a way that best fits their schedule. It takes away the class time that is wasted through off-topic conversations and downtime after assignments are finished. This would allow for more effective use of time as well as one that keeps us safe.

The benefits of online school are never-ending and varied as proven by an Illinois Online article that brought up a similar point: “Taking an online course also means that you don’t have to commute to class, which means less time spent on the bus and more study time sitting on your couch, the sound of a crackling fireplace in the background.”

The extra time saved from commuting, passing between classes, etc. adds up and can actually be used for employment opportunities and other real-life situations that work alongside the school day to better students and prepare them for later in life experiences.

A traditional system for school during the pandemic also brings about conflicts that originally did not exist. It does allow for the friendships and teacher-student bonds that are usually created; however, it increases the risk of virus cases due to a large congregation of students. If it was safe enough for traditional schooling, I am sure many students would find it the most ideal because it would return all of the events currently being missed out on. 

A point brought up by a Bobcat Network staff writer was, “By interacting with other students in their community, this teaches them social skills and how to talk to others they may not be comfortable talking to.”

The traditional public school experience opens up students to a plethora of various personalities and interactions which improve social skills. The hybrid system also harnesses some of these qualities that may be sought after, but with real-world application, distancing, masks, and lack of relationships being formed, school and classes have basically become silent.

Ultimately, the aspects of normal life that are trying to be saved through these new school systems are failing despite good intentions. For that reason and with my academic goals in mind, fully online school is the best option. It continues a safe, organized environment in which I can grow my knowledge and prepare for my future endeavors. 

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2020-2021 Periscope staff, CHS/CASD administration, or the CHS student body.