Will students miss virtual school?

For the 2021-22 school year, Pascack Hills is striving for everyone to be in school five days a week, likely with masks on.

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Anabelle Joukhadarian

Some students enjoy virtual school while others want to learn in classrooms again.

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, many places have had to operate differently, including Pascack Hills.

Last year on March 13, Hills switched to fully remote learning for the rest of the 2019-20 school year, but the Pascack Valley Regional High School District is now using a hybrid schedule. For the 2021-22 school year, Hills is striving for everyone to be in school five days a week, likely with masks on. Barring a change in the pandemic’s improving trajectory in New Jersey, Governor Murphy plans to not allow students to go virtual next year if they attend schools that are normally in-person.

Read next:  Hills community share opinions on in-person and remote learning

Many students have not enjoyed virtual school, whereas others have found benefits in doing school at home and they do not want to return to the old ways of learning. Whether it is eating during class or not having to wake up as early, numerous students are taking advantage of certain changes that have come with doing school fully or partially remote. 

I definitely like virtual school since it gives me a bit more flexibility to get things done around the house during free periods and such.”

— Alice Gradzki, Hills sophomore

Sophomore Alice Gradzki said, “I definitely like virtual school since it gives me a bit more flexibility to get things done around the house during free periods and such. I also like having more time to get ready in the morning, and being able to eat in class and wake up later are things that I’ll probably miss a lot post-pandemic.”

Because of the hybrid and fully remote schedules, many students have more time available, and they are not taking that for granted. There are people who have become so used to remote learning that they want certain aspects of it to stay once the pandemic ends, even if they miss in-person classes.

“I like virtual school because I get to wake up later than I normally would (and I wish it could stay post-pandemic), but it’s harder to focus and I miss seeing people in-person,” stated freshman Lily Plechner.

I get to wake up later than I normally would (and I wish it could stay post-pandemic), but it’s harder to focus and I miss seeing people in-person.”

— Lily Plechner, Hills freshman

Although there are Hills students who prefer virtual school over in-person learning, there are those who have never been able to adapt to constantly learning through a computer screen. There are concerns with how students will be able to handle school once they have to go in person, five days a week.

An anonymous junior explained, “I’ve never gotten used to virtual learning, and it has made this school year more chaotic for me. I like how I don’t have to rush in the morning and how I can text my friends during class, but keeping parts of virtual school post-pandemic won’t prepare me for college where they will be teaching normally again.” 

It has been a struggle for many students to effectively learn while mainly relying on online resources, especially because of the lacking interactions between teachers and students. Before the pandemic began, multiple assignments would be on paper and there would be opportunities for tactile learning; however, teachers have had to limit these teaching methods in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Students may find themselves not focusing on the assignments as much as they normally would inside a classroom.

Read next:  Hills community share opinions on in-person and remote learning

“I didn’t really like virtual learning, because I would constantly be distracted by my phone and would have a hard time listening to the teacher in my bed. I also would find it difficult to work online because it sometimes made it harder to work with an online textbook,” freshman Marina Dinaro said.

There have been numerous opinions on whether virtual learning has been beneficial or not, but many people agree that there are both pros and cons to online school. Some students want parts of remote learning to stay once the pandemic ends; this includes eating during class, having more control of the work pace, and waking up later. Others are hoping to return to the pre-pandemic lifestyle because of distractions at home and disorganization with assignments.

Regardless, the way Hills operates post-pandemic will be a significant change from how students have been learning this past year.