Hybrid learning creates unequal opportunity; Let’s wait until fall

Chloe Ward, Reporter


     Returning to school, in theory, is a wonderful idea. If it happened in the winter. Students and teachers attempting to return to pre-2020 conditions is creating complications that are being pushed under the rug and ignored simply for a sense of normalcy. The decision to return seems more political than considering the reality of everyone’s needs.

     I have been in complete and total quarantine since we left school last March, unable to leave the house or engage in activities because of my compromised immune system. Recently, I had to decide to not take an AP Exam because it required me to be in person, which will lead to me having to retake the class in college. I know several people in similar situations as me, and it is unfair that these opportunities are being missed because some are in school and some are not. 

     All the exams should be virtual, and I am unsure as to why the college board has decided that only in-person students can take math, physics, and other exams when there’s still hundreds of students that have to stay home. Especially since the majority of the exams are still virtual, so why is it only a few required written exams? If it is hybrid learning, it should be equal opportunity across the board.

     Even for students returning to school, there is a huge, stressful adjustment period now that they must juggle work, school hours, exams, and class finals that are coming up within the next month. For the past year we have had access to notes and online resources, so long as the teachers permit it. 

     However, now half the students are returning to school without access to these materials, right before they have to test on everything. While I do not condone cheating, it is clearly inevitable amongst some virtual students, creating unequal opportunity.

     I think teachers are also being put under too much stress in the adjustment period. I have noticed in the past two weeks that my teachers are having to go back and forth between their two sections of students, trying to fulfill all their needs. They need to have different classwork, and end up paying less attention to online students. It has inevitably led to virtual students having less engagement in the class, speaking from experience.

     The solution here is to stay in online classes until next year, where the vaccine should be mandatory to engage in in-person learning 

     It’s too stressful for everyone involved to suddenly be dropped into the school environment right before the end of the year, where some are still not present. I still think senior opportunities like prom and graduation should be available for those who want to participate, but we should wait to return to everything else and get a fresh start at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.