COVID-19 has brought many changes to students’ lives; the most prominent of these being their learning experience. At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, all students were forced to go 100% online. It was clear the school was unprepared for quarantine to take place since there was no consistent learning schedule. At the beginning of this school year, students were given a choice to go 50/50 or stay 100% online for the school hours. The outcome of this decision was later implemented in October.
The teachers, staff and administration had the whole summer to create an online program suitable for their students. At first, it was a difficult change. However, after a semester of staying online, it is evident that the program’s flexibility dramatically outweighs the small amounts of free time we would get if we were forced to go back to school. Sophomore Saanvi Agrawal, who has been an online student for the whole school year, shares the same thoughts.
“Some students can learn more efficiently from the comfort of their own home rather than in school. Personally, I have a more flexible schedule in which I can be more productive,” Agrawal confessed.
Instead of spending over an hour in a class being unproductive, online students can utilize their extra time in other classes to do different work. For example, in elective classes where most of the time is labeled as “free time,” it is much easier for students to complete their other assignments. Although this time may still be available if a student were to go in person, it is much easier to complete work in the comfort of your own home.
Even if a student did go in person, it would be hard to use that free time to improve one’s mental and physical health. Junior Tiffany Hy had used her free time for personal needs and discovery.
“I was able to develop a better understanding of the way I learn. Also, sleeping in later or during my free period and having more free time in between classes are bonuses,” Hy emphasized.
It’s a commonality amongst teenagers to get very little sleep, much less than their recommended hours. The CDC reports that teenagers, specifically high schoolers, should be getting eight to ten hours of sleep per night. However, in a survey conducted on the national level, 72.7% of high school students were not getting enough sleep on school nights.
The convenience that online school gives students allows them to use their time for more sleep and self-discovery. It’s easier to find what learning techniques work for you instead of having to follow the teacher’s style of teaching.
Now with all of the benefits of online school, why would Capo not offer this alternative, post-Corona? It is clear that online school has helped many students improve their grades and schedules. Ultimately, it is in both the school’s and its students’ best interest to continue holding online classes after COVID.
Still, the first problem that may occur is the need to have online and in-person instruction simultaneously. This may not be needed, however. Apex Learning has already been implemented into the curriculum, and the students have gotten familiar with the program. Much like the online health classes offered every summer, students can learn through a provided schedule without needing instructional time. Since CVHS still offers this self-paced health class over the summer, there should not be a problem with offering other alike classes during the school year or the summer.
Moreover, the curriculum was already made; why not keep using it? The students are already comfortable and the parents have become accustomed, there’s no point in going back now.