How has the Online Learning Experience been for PDS Students?


(Artwork/Yvonne Wang ’22)

Yvonne Wang, Online Staff Writer

Since last September, Princeton Day School has been offering students the choice to attend school either in person or online due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Each month, students need to renew their decisions to either stay remote or go back to school in person. Recently, more and more students are choosing to attend school in person for a better class experience and learning environment. However, a fair amount of students are still pursuing remote courses through Zoom. For them, learning online is a better option. 

A major advantage of online learning, according to remote students, is having more time to sleep. PDS junior Allison Liang, who has been remote since October, expressed her opinion towards online learning: “One of the pros of being online is definitely being able to sleep in later, compared to when I had to physically go to school.” Especially to students who undertake classes with a heavy workload, the lack of sleep often becomes an issue as many stay up late to study. With the option of online learning, remote students no longer need to take into account the morning time to travel to school. For other students who live far away from school, taking classes online means they could save up to an hour or so every morning to compensate for their lack of sleep. 

While online learning could make it hard to focus with the distraction of electronic devices, many students find learning at home beneficial. Junior Anny Shi described her experience as “[learning] with the comfort of my home,” students are free to wear pajamas or wrap themselves in warm blankets when attending classes online. Considering that heavy snow and winter storms hit frequently this year, staying at home means no snow shoveling for many families. Certainly, studying at home also proves more efficient for many students without the distraction from peers in school. 

Last but not least, safety concerns have played a big role in students’ decision to stay remote. While the vaccine has been available for a few months, many people have not gotten it yet; junior Bolin Shen shared that she personally thinks it is safer to stay online for a bit more time before the majority of people in the community get vaccinated. Although PDS has done a great job at implementing safety protocols such as plexiglass, going to school itself is a form of congregation. Due to the possibility of spreading the virus during the incubation period, many families, especially those with elders or susceptible individuals at home, prefer online learning. 

Whether online or in-person, the ongoing pandemic with recent spikes has affected the learning experience in many aspects. As for now, PDS will continue its policy of school learning that gives parents and students the freedom to select based on their own preference.