Let’s Go Back!

Previous fears over schools becoming super-spreaders of COVID-19 aren’t true. It’s time for us to go back to school.

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Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

How do you feel about hybrid learning?

Through these crazy times it can be exhausting. Students usually get into an everyday schedule, but with our hybrid program it is hard for students to get into the swing of things. Between being online for many hours and wearing a mask all day, it is hard to stop and take a breath. Literally. This pandemic has really taken a toll on our lives, but we need to take precautions and actions to return to our normal lives. 

Several districts in the Pittsburgh area are returning or already have returned to full in person learning. October 5th was Seneca Valley’s first week back to five days a week. North Allegheny has about 1,246 more students than Seneca but has many more school buildings to spread out the kids. If we wear a mask and keep distant without masks on, we should be able to go back to school full time.

Out of 16,348 staff members and students tested randomly by the school system in the first week of its testing regimen, the city has gotten back results for 16,298. There were only 28 positives: 20 staff members and eight students”

— Dana Rubenstein and J. David Goodman / NYT

The effects of students doing online school can be very significant. Since quarantine, the mental health of high school aged students has been very bad. Being home all day on a laptop isn’t healthy. Students should be at school socializing, learning, and being themselves. 

Schools have also done well keeping students and staff safe. A recently published New York Times article reveals that for months, as New York City struggled to start part-time, in-person classes, fear grew that its 1,800 public schools would become vectors of coronavirus infection.

But nearly three weeks into the in-person school year, early data from the city’s first effort at targeted testing has shown the opposite: a surprisingly small number of positive cases.

Out of 16,348 staff members and students tested randomly by the school system in the first week of its testing regimen, the city has gotten back results for 16,298. There were only 28 positives: 20 staff members and eight students.

And when officials put mobile testing units at schools near Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods that have had new outbreaks, only four positive cases turned up — out of more than 3,300 tests conducted since the last week of September.

Students need the social outlet throughout the hallways, lunch periods, and in classes. Some students may not have as many friends in their cohort. This is something high school students need to stay healthy mentally. 

Online learning doesn’t give students the right learning environment they need to be successful. It can be distracting, stressful, and hard to focus on schoolwork. With so many different distractions around the house, how can I put 100% effort and focus into my schoolwork. The schoolwork high school students are doing isn’t easy. 

We need face to face learning to help us with our questions and one on one teaching. In my opinion, the work we are being assigned while at home is busy work. Many students don’t have the motivation to do these assignments while at home. 

Not only is it hard for the students, but the teachers have to do so much more than they have ever done. It isn’t easy to learn online when a teacher is trying to teach one class to two different groups of students. 

The teachers now have to teach different groups of students on different days of the week. This can be hard for them to learn who their students are and prepare the right lesson plans. They have to plan different days for the students to complete certain tasks for their grades. Teachers have been put through lots of stress alongside the students during these times as well. 

From my experience it is hard to have the courage to ask a question over Blackboard Collaborate without feeling awkward. I know I am not the only student feeling this way in the discussions. This keeps us students from having the best understanding of the curriculum. 

This type of learning can also ruin our future knowledge in coming years. Without gaining the correct knowledge, the built up knowledge that we were supposed to have may not be there.

We need to be taught the same way everyone was taught in previous years to be the most successful in the end.