Students engage in new form of learning from a distance


Jack Butchart

Students are looking at their entire class schedule through Google Classroom, many of them on their laptops at home.

On March 13, students left for spring break. What they did not know is that they would not be returning to school for the rest of the academic year. 

Due to the Covid-19 virus, school districts across the United States have been closing their doors for the rest of the school year, including the Mehlville School District. 

Since all schools are closed and students still need an education, the district decided to change to remote learning. This allows the students to stay at home and get school work online. 

“I like online learning,” Isabella Withlin (11) said. “It allows me to work at my own pace.” 

Students, however, have mixed opinions on the new form of learning. 

“Online learning is difficult since grades are pass/fail,” said Vicky Riordan (11). “I don’t really have the motivation to do the work.”

With pass/fail in place, students do not have the ability to increase the current grades they have, which will have no effect on the their GPA. 

“I feel like without our grades moving,” said Morgan Herrick (11), “doing the work just isn’t worth it.” 

Online learning is not only a difficult adjustment for students, it is also taking a toll on teachers and staff as well. 

The biggest challenge is missing the students,” Assistant Principal Casey Olearnick said. “It is also tough to get all students to communicate their needs electronically. We can only support the students when we know that they need help.”

The current system was chosen so students who have access to the internet can thrive and students who do not have access to the internet do not have to worry about their grades falling. 

“The system was chosen, as I understand it,” said Olearnick, “because issuing grades at this point would benefit privilege inequitably. Students who have access to the internet, a supportive home structure, and all basic needs met will be able to succeed. Students without any of those elements could struggle. That struggle is very difficult for the district to alleviate, since we are not able to influence the home environment.”