In a recent vote from the Frederick County Board of Education, they’ve pushed for elementary school students to return to school four days a week. With the proposed schedule excluding middle and high school students it raises questions concerning the reasoning behind it’s exclusiveness. Middletown High School students weigh in on if they should be included in the new schedule based on their experiences this year so far.
Currently students have the option to be fully virtual or in a hybrid learning environment that places them in a cohort assigned to in-person school for just two days a week. Both virtual and hybrid students learn together from their different locations. These circumstances have unveiled new challenges for both students and teachers causing an ongoing debate over schedule changes.
Some students have discovered they prefer the online version of school due to its flexibility with work time, while other students prefer going in person where they can stay motivated and focused. This contributes to the mixed response students provided when informed of the possible new four day, in person, week.
Sophomore at MHS, Dylan Speirs, explains why he chose the in person option, “I personally prefer in person school because it’s easier to interact with teachers and I don’t get distracted as much”. There’s no doubt students at home are often tempted by distractions such as their phones or tv.
A more reoccurring response was that students simply missed seeing their friends. It certainly takes a toll on a teen being separated from their peers. This seems to be another large contributor to the prominent lack of motivation throughout these past semesters.
PJ Leonard, a Sophomore at MHS, mentioned it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re in the same environment everyday all day. He has personally seen a decline in his drive to get work done, and hopes highschoolers will be given the same chance to return four days a week.
There’s a chance getting students back into their normal routine could likely lead to an increase in their overall grades. But while most students you’ll talk to are looking forward to a return, some have found that they are much more productive during online school.
Senior, Kylie Wells, said she wouldn’t return to school for the last semester if given the chance, and likes online classes better because she has “more time to get other things done”. She’s managed to find the silver lining even after losing her senior year.
Four days a week or not, students like Katya Aliev are looking forward to a new schedule regardless. When asked about her experience with hybrid so far, she says ”For the most part it’s okay, but because there is so much work it’s really difficult and stressful to catch up after missing even as little as one day.” She has also found lessons to be much more engaging when taught in person.
Both teachers and students have found struggles with the current schedule, while others prefer it to last year. A new four day week, in person, schedule would definitely be another challenge to overcome and adjust to, but maybe it’s just what Middletown needs in order to finish out this unusual school year.