An Open Letter on the Return to School
In the coming days, students, parents, and teachers have to make a decision that they've had to make before. Will you or your child go back to school or remain online? As a student and a senior I feel conflicted with the idea of going back to school. On one hand, the county is telling me it’s safe. On the other hand, the Covid numbers are higher than ever and don’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. As much as I want to finish out my last year of high school in the most typical way, I want to keep myself and my family safe.
If the county allows schools to open during the colder months, they are neglecting the initial safety guidelines put in place to protect the students and faculty. If they didn’t believe it was safe to return in October, why would it be safe now? The Covid numbers seem to have tripled and it concerns me that the county’s response is to seemingly open the schools. I know that this does not mean that everyone goes back and that likely a lot of students will stay virtual, but that simply presents more problems that we have been grappling with over the last few months. How can teachers teach in-person classes and virtual classes? Will this affect the quality of online learning? How will we ensure that students online don’t fall behind the in-person classes? How do we protect our teachers and staff, especially those with pre-existing conditions? What happens to the in-person students when the teacher is solely virtual? Are there disciplinary actions for students who do not follow safety guidelines? These are only a handful of the questions I have as a concerned student. Perhaps there are answers to them and I simply haven’t heard.
However, it is unfair to only list the cons of in-person school. This year the percentage of students who are failing at least one class is incredible. Some students clearly require the structure and pressure of in-person classes, and that is perfectly okay. Additionally, parents, especially of younger children, likely want and need their children back at school. They don’t know how to help their kids with classes if they are falling behind.
I have also struggled with finding motivation to do assignments and have not been able to go to my parents for help. But I find motivation in my need to graduate this spring, and if I really need help, I go to tutorials. I know that neither of these things apply to everyone, but nothing ever does.
I strongly urge everyone to consider all of their own reasons for either virtual or in-person school before making their decision. I feel like virtual is the only option for me, but that does not mean that everyone needs to feel the same way.
Managing Editor of the Lakeside Legend