With school starting around the country, a lot of questions are being asked about how to control COVID while still giving students that same school feeling.
A survey done by EducationDive shows that of the 9500 school faculty surveyed across the country about how they prefer school to be run, 70% answered that they would prefer it to be mostly or completely face-to-face. Along with this, only 64% of the faculty responded saying that their interactions with technology were “good” or “excellent”.
“With the death rate of COVID so low, I think it’s worth it. My family and I are pretty healthy so we think we are safe enough to continue our lives,” said Eric Spaeth, a senior at Totino-Grace. He noted that the risk of getting sick “would be better than going back fully online”.
Edutopia did a study on how closing schools could affect the mental health of students. They explained that schools are “the de facto mental health system for many children and adolescents, providing mental health services to 57 percent of adolescents who need care”. Without this source, kids will have to suffer from their mental illnesses without being able to get help.
“COVID helped me focus on family and myself by doing schoolwork and exercising without the distractions that come with in-person schooling,” said senior Alaina Jesh. This answer vastly differs from popular belief.
Jesh took the route of seeing the good in this pandemic and has been very positive with a good outlook on how the future is going to be. She noted that “with this pandemic, there are different strokes for different folks, and I tried to make the best out of it.” She also mentioned how she prefers online schooling rather than a hybrid model because she can learn better in that sort of environment.
Jacob Mraz, a senior at Totino-Grace, noted the necessity to come to school even though it’s a hybrid model saying “School isn’t only about learning book smarts”. Mraz reasoned that going to school and communicating with classmates makes students well-rounded individuals.
With school being one of the main places people talk with their friends, Mraz said that taking the social part out of schooling would end many relationships with people and may end up hurting the mental health of many students because of the lack of face to face conversations.
With a few outliers, the vast majority of people would prefer a hybrid model for school rather than fully online. The question is finally up to the administration to ponder the possible risks in pleasing students.