Students Views on Reopening Plan Vary

Kathleen Gianni, Staff Writer

Just recently, the school released plans to go back to school four days a week in the near future. Earlier this month, a survey was sent out to parents about their preference regarding moving forward with the school year. This information was then used to propose a three-phase plan to the school board. The first phase refers to the current two-day hybrid in-person model. The second phase includes an expanded four-day hybrid in-person model in November, and the third and final phase entails a five day in-person school week in January. The school released, “One of the key components of this two-model approach is flexibility. Because the curriculum is the same for remote and hybrid learning, students can seamlessly transition from one learning model to the other as needed.” 

After this plan was ultimately approved, some commotion arose within the students. Many students at the high school have voiced their concerns for their safety with the extended in-person hybrid model while others have been in support of the plans in hopes to make the remainder of the school year feel as normal as possible. Two petitions were made by students with opposing viewpoints in order for their voices to be heard along with rest of the school on their preference going forward with the school year. 

Stephanie Spina and Felipe Mola-Curri, two juniors at the high school, started a petition to keep the current hybrid model in place; the two students explain that “bringing students into school for four days a week is irresponsible and dangerous. Although full remote learning is an option, many rely on the social interactions of the two-day hybrid system; the current system is the perfect balance between safety and normalcy.” A lot of students think that opening the school up to four days in person could be harmful, and the full-remote set up would not provide them with necessary social interactions. They believe that the two-day schedule has been a perfect compromise and has proven to be successful. This view has been supported by many students in the school with over six-hundred and fifty signatures on the petition. 

In response to the petition fighting to remain in the current hybrid system, Sydney Brown, a senior, created a petition supporting the school’s plan to expand to four days in-person. This petition, favored primarily by seniors, has received one-hundred and thirty-nine signatures. Sydney Brown argues, “Extended school closure and the unprecedented nature of the remote learning has been extremely harmful to students. It has led to severe learning loss, made absorbing content more difficult, and eliminated student-teacher engagement for many.” 

Up to eight-hundred students have voiced their opinions on the matter, and these petitions have given the school a lot to consider. As of now, the school still intends to go through with their initial plan, but it leaves a lot of students wondering if they are going to take their views into account.