Quarantining at home has gone on for way too long, and I’m sure many can agree. As summer break ended and school started up again, many wondered if we would go back anytime soon. The topic has been thrown around the school board recently, and it is apparent we are heading in the direction of going back. Principal Gary Springer has even posted on Facebook that the Governing Board voted to allow students to learn in-person on campus for grades 6 and 9 on October 14-16, and the rest of the grades on October 20th. Fortunately, they have given a choice to the parents and students on whether they will be staying online or physically going to school.
As we all know, the Coronavirus, which has caused this quarantine that has cancelled or postponed parties, events, and school, is still around. This has made students and parents of Charter hesitant of going back to school physically. Many families are still unsure of how everything will work, in terms of social distancing, masks, and sanitization.
Personally, on campus learning doesn’t seem like an appealing option. Some of the many questions running through my mind during this transitioning period are “What will happen during lunch?”, “How will we be sure everyone will stay 6 feet apart?”, “How will students at home feel seeing all their friends together at school?”. Obviously, everyone wants to get back to normal, but it might not be the safest bet.
Classes being reduced in size, marked areas to walk in the hallways, and mandatory mask-wearing are all expected precautions of opening up schools, however, lunch is still a problem if everyone will be in the cafeteria. The virus doesn’t just go away when you eat, and you can’t eat with a mask, so it might not be safe to eat in the cafeteria with everyone else. Possibly eating outside at a safe distance, 6 feet apart or more, might help eliminate the potential spread of the virus, however, if more students decide to go to school, it might be harder to keep everyone distanced.
Additionally, fire drills, tornado drills, code red drills, and other types of drills where everyone is close together for a long period of time might also contradict the social distancing guidelines. For example, in a code red drill, we gather in a small section of the classroom marked by a red line. This won’t be possible to do while social distancing. In my opinion, it will be very hard for the school to function while completely following the CDC guidelines, and this could urge some students to stay home to protect their families; it certainly has for me.
Moving to online school, some find it easier to focus because they’re aren’t other distractions that would be there at school. For me, online school made it easier for me to get my work done, since I would just do it right after the teacher finished their lecture and ended class. It ended my procrastination, and I believe that is mostly because I wasn’t coming home from school where I was doing work all day, to doing more work at home. Now, I am knocking all my work out in one place and one time, at home and during the school hours or directly afterschool.
Although it is obvious why I don’t want to go back to school, I do feel social interaction with peers to a certain extent is very important. Clubs meeting together afterschool, while also following the CDC guidelines, could fulfill students’ needs to see their peers and interact with them. It is favorable to me because there are way less people, and for a shorter period of time.
E-learning, or online school through Zoom, might not be ideal for some, but in my opinion, it is better than risking endangering yourself, your family, and your peers. Some might feel the need to go back to school to try to resume life as it was pre-virus. However, this might actually slow down the process of normalization due to the increased chance of spread. We can get through this together, but we must make sure we are all safe in the process.