Why Did Some GVHS Students Stick With Virtual Learning?

By Madison Carr

Garnet Valley has started a hybrid schedule, where half of the students attend school in-person every other day. However, some students have decided to stay fully virtual. Recently, I talked to three different students to gain some insight regarding why they didn’t go back to school.

Why did you choose to stay virtual?

A – I chose to stay virtual due to the fact that my dad is in a job where he comes into contact with people who clean places with COVID. It’s easier for me to stay home instead of constantly being pulled out of class if I come into contact. On top of that, I don’t feel comfortable being inside another building or around that many people.

B – I decided to stay virtual because I have a pre-existing condition, so I didn’t want to put myself and my family at risk.

C – My parents wouldn’t let me go back to school and I also didn’t feel safe. I knew that high school students probably wouldn’t follow safety guidelines, no matter how strictly they were enforced.

How is the learning experience for you now that hybrid has started?

A – The learning experience for me, now that hybrid has started, has been relatively the same. Sometimes there are new tech issues or we [people at home] are less focused, but personally, I don’t mind that. I’m independent, and working at home helps me work at a a good pace and get my work done fairly well.

B – The hybrid/virtual learning experience is definitely different from how it was pre-pandemic. It’s honestly harder for me to retain information, since I find it harder to learn online than with physical texts. I still end up going to bed late since I stay up finishing assignments, but I’m glad that I’m able to learn in an environment where I feel most comfortable at this time.

C – Hybrid has been rough, as most teachers focus on the students in the class and forget about Zoom participants. It’s hard to feel like I’m getting a full education most days.

What Zoom setup has been the most helpful? Projecting the Zoom/screen share on board, filming the board with the laptop, etc.

A – The Zoom setup has been the most helpful is screen sharing. Watching a board is often less focused and more glitchy. It’s also harder to read.

B – I think the most effective setup I’ve seen (and the one I see the most often) is screen sharing presentations and other resources. With this setup, the students can clearly see what the teachers are presenting to the class.

C – Screen sharing has been the most useful. Since video can be glitchy, laggy, and blurred. Pointing the camera at the screen isn’t always the best.

Would you ever consider doing hybrid or going back to school?

A – I would personally love to go back; however, it’s not the best option for me. While I miss my friends and going to my favorite classes such as chorus, I overall am doing better virtually than I had in-person. Not to mention, I am uncomfortable with the number of cases and how they’re currently rising. If they went down and a vaccine was created and distributed before the school year ended, I’d consider it.

B – I would only consider going back to school if COVID-19 is at a low enough infection rate that people with pre-existing conditions would be able to go about their day safely, if I am completely confident that other people are complying with safety guidelines, and if there is a vaccine available that would ensure that I would not put myself and my family at risk.

C – I would not consider going back to school or going hybrid. As much as I want to, with one confirmed COVID case and one suspected case not even by the end of the first week, I do not feel safe at all.

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