What students liked about distance learning

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Sana Tahir, Staff Writer

This school year has been an interesting one. It started with two options, hybrid or distance, then went to all distance, and now we’re getting the two options back again. Schools around the nation have had to adapt and come up with new ways to learn at school or virtually. Last week, we received the announcement that the school was going back to the hybrid/ distance model along with a newly formatted schedule of a school day. While many of the benefits that full-time distance had will be lost in this transfer, here’s what students liked about distance and what they wish could be kept when going back to hybrid, or when learning finally returns to normal again.

Later Start Times: With school starting at 9 am virtually, many kids want to stick with this start time when the new model starts. This time of 9 am allows students to wake up refreshed and be focused for class. A student told me that she feels the 9 AM start time was beneficial,
“I feel like the 9 AM start time gave me time to work on other things before school work and gave me a headstart on the school day.” Along with that, students who are more naturally night-owls were also given a better chance to get a healthy amount of sleep each night because they could sleep in later.

The breaks between each class: Between every zoom class, students had a 15-minute break which many want to be continued when the new model starts. The students I talked to who are planning on going hybrid told me that a 5-minute break between classes wasn’t enough and most of it is spent walking to other classes. The 15-minute break provided time for kids to finish up assignments, have something to eat, and use the restroom.

Private Zooms with teachers: This school year has forced teachers to find new ways to connect with students and answer their questions and many teachers have executed this by using Zoom. Students find the one-on-one zooms to be helpful when asking a teacher specific questions and getting added help with assignments. It’s also beneficial to students who might feel uncomfortable asking questions in front of a class but still could use guidance on something.

4 day school week: This year, the school board decided to give students a zoom free school day to catch up on schoolwork and many students found this to be helpful. “The Wednesdays we have off really helps me not procrastinate on things and helps me stay on track with class,” a student told me. The new hybrid model keeps Wednesdays as a catch-up day for students for the rest of the year, but many students would like to see it continue into next year. If in a pandemic or not, an extra rest day of day to catch up is always beneficial and appreciated.