Student Opinions on the First Week of Online School


(Photo/Solen Feyissa/Unsplash)

Kyler Zhou, Opinions Associate

Online school is a new and unique approach to learning for PDS, and the PDS community is experiencing something it has never experienced before in its 55 years of existence. Online school will run from March 30 to a tentative date of April 17, when Head of School Paul Stellato and the Board of Trustees will evaluate the circumstances and judge whether it is safe for students to come back to campus.

Online school has been met with mixed reactions. Some say that the program is helping students as it promotes time management skills and saves a lot of time for students that live far away from campus. Freshman Hellen Jin says, “I thought virtual school would be an interesting way to learn as it lets us develop productive time management habits, and allows us to be more independent.” Virtual school gives us a lot more time than we usually have, and students like Jin appreciate that. Because there is so much time for us to do our work, the rigor and intensity that students face on a regular day of high school have lessened, and we can expect stress levels to decrease.

However, others say that our academic growth will be hampered by online school and that fewer student interactions mean it is not as fun as regular school. Freshman Alex McInnes says, “I think it will be a new and interesting way to learn, but I believe that overall it will hinder our education process which may affect future years of intellectual development. Also, I don’t think it will be as effective as classroom learning and we won’t get as much done.” The asynchrony of online school means that school is not nearly as long as a typical day, thus teachers can only teach a limited amount every day. Additionally, in the recent Spokesman poll, “Are you looking forward to virtual school?”, 60% of the respondents voted for “Nah, I’d rather have real school,” and only 28% of the respondents looked forward to online school.

Given the world-wide impacts of COVID-19, the only possible way for school to go on is virtually. Therefore, we must be grateful for our new program, as millions around the world do not have the opportunity or resources necessary to learn from home. We must all do our best to turn in all of our work by 8:00 pm, to wash our hands (with soap!) regularly, and to wear a smile on our faces as we do our work.