Online Learning Here We Come!

It’s official the St. Vrain Valley School District has decided that we are going to be going back to a fully online learning environment.

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We’re going back to fully online learning. Some are happy some are upset but overall a lot of people are nerve-wracked about the whole thing.

Elicia Ramu, Staff Writer

Well, it’s official! We are going back once again to a fully online learning schedule for the remainder of the semester. That’s right we’re going back. On Wednesday night there was a board meeting held at 6:00 p.m. to decide whether it would be best for students to remain in the schools or for us to be shut back down again. I’m not going to go into all of the details but one thing that I can say is that everyone knew that this was coming. With the number of kids that have been transferring to either LaunchED or the option given by the schools to stay at home, there was no doubt that this was the next step.

Class numbers have been dwindling to only a small class of maybe three or four kids depending on the cohort and day. With more and more COVID cases rising in the schools and the state of Colorado they feel it is safer for the kids to be in their homes than being back in school. That’s not to say that the school isn’t doing a really good job of keeping the students and staff at FHS safe. They are doing an amazing job. A few weeks ago my family was getting multiple emails a week with updates of possible or confirmed COVID cases. In the last two weeks, however, we haven’t gotten a single email which we take as a good sign. The one thing we were not necessarily thrilled with though, is the fact that we’re now being sent back to fully online.

From the beginning of the school year, the students and staff have been thrown a curveball due to constant changes of whether we were going to be going back to school or not. We were originally told that we were going to wait a few months and reassess our covid cases and numbers at the end of September. When September came, however, we were then told that we were going to push it off another month and wait until the end of September to see whether we would be returning to school with a hybrid model at the beginning of October. We got the approval at the end of September and we have been using this hybrid model for a little bit over a month now only to be told that we’re going to be shut down again. I understand why the school is shutting down however I think and know that some problems come with this constant change.

For some students like myself, we did fine being fully online. Some of us being back fully online isn’t necessarily the end of the world. However, when the school district switched from being fully online to going to a hybrid model it screwed with some students’ heads greatly including me. Like I said I was fine being fully online I was doing great in school, I was focused and I was motivated. When we switched to a hybrid learning schedule my whole school schedule and motivation got switched around. I found that I was more focused and more motivated to work on schoolwork when I was in school physically than I am when I’m at home. Talking to my family members and a few of their friends they would agree with me too.

Like I said earlier, however, that isn’t all students. There are some students like my younger brothers who do so much better being in person. They can focus and get the help they need to succeed in the school year and in the classes that they are taking. They need to be in the school to focus, feel motivated, and get their work done with a teacher beside them. They need that actual class feeling that they don’t necessarily get through Webex.

This causes a problem for many. For some students like myself, we may be fine transferring back to a fully online learning schedule however others may not do well. As of right now, FHS has multiple resources that can help those students that need help. We offer warrior time multiple days out of the week and we have Friday set up so that you can easily schedule a time period with a teacher or multiple teachers to go and sit with them to help get our school work completed. On top of that, we have other things like different meetings with different classes that happen on Friday’s that are easier to manage and take care of in person rather than they are on Webex. Those meetings give kids outlets from their house other than work.

If there is any possibility or any way of keeping those meetings and those options available at the school it will continue to benefit the kids that need it rather than having it all happen over a Webex meeting instead. Students need outlets and they need help. The constant switching of our learning schedule has been a pain enough. All though it can be understood it can also be seen as very annoying and challenging to not just students but teachers. It feels like it’s affecting the students more though and the students are the ones who are struggling with learning and finding ways to learn and keep their grades up.

Right now we’re officially back to a fully online learning schedule again. We don’t know when we’re going back to school or if we even will be going back next semester and that in itself can be extremely scary and nerve-wracking to students across the district. I understand the reason and concern for keeping everyone safe. However, with the low numbers in our school, it is hard to truly understand this. What are we doing as a community to help kids who need the in-person time? What are we as a community doing to help with the mental health of our students? Not everyone copes with stresses well and we need to find a solution to help all students and stay safe.

School is about not only learning but it is an outlet through music, sports, writing, arts, and more. What are we doing to fulfill this void?