Staff Editorial: School During a Pandemic

This+photo+depicts+the+reality+of+thousands+of+students+around+the+world%2C+including+North+Students%3A+learning+through+a+screen+in+the+comfort+of+our+own+homes.+

Laure Schulders

This photo depicts the reality of thousands of students around the world, including North Students: learning through a screen in the comfort of our own homes.

The beginning of the 2020-2021 school year at North has been much different from previous years as this is the first time that all classes will be taught remotely. 

From a health standpoint, we think this is the safest way to go. With cases of COVID-19 increasing across the country, opening schools at full capacity would greatly increase the risk of students and staff getting infected. 

However, from an educational view, this fully remote plan raises some concerns. Obviously, classes offered at North like culinary classes, auto classes, and art classes will be difficult for both teachers and students to instruct and learn from home. The curriculum for these classes, as well as parts of other classes such as science labs, will have to be drastically changed to accommodate the new remote learning plan. But more than just the hands-on classes will have to change. In some way, all classes will be different. There will be no in-person learning or teaching, so students and staff alike will have to find new ways to communicate and operate totally online. 

One change that was made is the addition of the lunch break. Everyone was given, even if they don’t have a lunch period in their schedule, a 30-minute time break to get from your computer, and we greatly appreciate this change. 

Shifting angles to a social point of view, we will miss the opportunity to talk to our friends in class, meet new people in the lunchroom, and see those they couldn’t see over the summer in-person. 

This lack of in-school social interaction and the inability to see people–or even leave the house–has us worried about the students’ mental health. For many, going to school was a chance to escape a bad home life, to see and connect with other people, and a place to generally have fun. Studies have shown that with remote learning taking that away, students’ mental health might decline. 

Overall, the new remote, all online learning plan for the upcoming school year has its pros and cons, just as in-person learning does. But nevertheless, we have faith that students and staff will try hard to make it a good, educational experience for all involved.

The purpose of the staff editorial is to start a conversation. The editorial topic and stance is discussed and agreed by all members of the editorial board. While only one editor writes the article and the editorial may not represent each editor’s opinion 100%, it does represent an editorial consensus. Again, the purpose is discussion. Let us know what you think through Twitter @SCNNewspaper and email at [email protected]