– by Kiersten, senior –
Students around the world are experiencing school in a different way this year. For some, it is simply wearing a mask and trying to remember not to hug their friends. For others, it is sitting at a laptop all day trying to navigate a virtual classroom amidst technical difficulties.
Covid-19 has created a new environment, and brought new challenges, in almost every area of life, especially in the schools. However, FBTA is attempting to create the best possible school system for the students choosing to learn from home or for students who become ill.
On any given day, approximately ten students from FBTA are learning from home. These families have opted for distance rather than in-person learning for various reasons, such as being immunosuppressed or just being cautious as the Coronavirus is still circulating. Some other students may usually attend in person, but if feeling sick, they are able to take advantage of the distance learning system from home so they do not miss a day of classes.
“We didn’t know how many Coronavirus cases we would have this year, or when we would have them, but we wanted to set the school up for success knowing that people would be out sick eventually,” said Mr. Bradford, administrator. “We have had positive feedback, but it has certainly had its challenges.”
Many of the returning students remember the several months of distance learning from last school year, and the frustrations and difficulties that came with it. This year, the administration has worked to develop a new system to create the best possible learning environment for online students. All classes are now live-streamed and recorded, and at-home students may log in and watch the class. These students take the tests and quizzes and do all the homework from home.
“So far, the hardest thing has been trying to hear the teacher over my sometimes very loud classmates,” commented Emilie Grindle, 7th grade. “I definitely miss my friends the most, and I can’t wait till I can come back and be with them at school.”
This has been a learning experience for the teachers, students, and administration. Mrs. Dyck and Mr. Vasquez have worked behind the scenes to help online classes run as smoothly as possible and deal with any technical difficulties that arise on a day-to-day basis.
“Online school has been a lot harder than I expected in many ways,” said Ella Soules, junior. “I’m hoping I’ll be able to return to FBTA soon and be with all my friends.”