Student’s view on returning to school versus continuing virtual learning

For those returning to school, masks will be required, as they are an essential part of attempting to keep every student and teacher safe. Photo provided by

James Rhoten, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Whether you’re in grades 9,10,11, or 12, this school year hasn’t gone the way anyone had hoped for it to. Every student, without exception, has been at home doing virtual learning on their IPads. With September 28th being the optional return to in-person school date, most students seem to have a common goal: to return to in-person school ASAP.

A major reason why students want to come back to in-person school is so that they can receive human interaction on a daily basis again. Emily Burris, grade 10, said, “Being at home is driving me insane. I’m going back to school because humans need interaction between each other to live.”

Ryli Letke, grade 11, has the same problem. Letke said, “I’m going back because I can’t really focus and I miss human interaction.”

With a somewhat lackluster format, some students have trouble forming a schedule/routine to get all of their assignments done. Hannah Rebey, grade 12, said, “I’m going back because I feel like it would be easier to maintain a schedule, and I’d be less prone to procrastination.”

“Although I enjoy learning from home, I think it’s best for me to be back in a classroom setting. It’s easier for me to do my work that way, and I am looking forward to developing a normal routine again,” said Emma Galocy, grade 11.

Other students find that virtual learning is too difficult and even ineffective compared to traditional school. Andrew Barsich, grade 11, said, “It’s easy to cheat and if I have a question while learning the lesson, I can’t get the answer the moment I need it. I feel like my learning experience gets ruined by that.”

Leonardo Cruz, grade 12, also likes having help immediately whenever he needs it. Cruz said, “For me, it’s way better to learn in a focused learning environment where the teachers are there and can give you help in an instant. Also, I personally think some teachers are not teaching as well as they could online than in person, which I don’t really blame them since it’s a new thing for them as well.”

“I’m going back to school because I struggle with some of the assignments I get for virtual learning,” said Kiki Zekavica, grade 9.

Eric Onohan, grade 10, finds virtual learning to be more difficult than traditional school. Onohan said, “Online school is way harder than in class and I can’t wait to see all my friends.”

Though most students are yearning to return to in-person classes, other students are more hesitant to return. Whether it’s for themselves or their families’ safety, some students have opted to remain virtual for as long as they can.

Marissa Madrigal, grade 12, excels through virtual learning. Madrigal said, “I’m going to continue virtual learning because it is more flexible than classroom-based learning; I can work through material at my own pace.”

Zoe Balog, grade 9, and her family don’t believe it is safe to return to in-person classes just yet. Balog said, “I want to come back to school, but my parents don’t think it’s safe yet so I’ll be doing virtual this semester.”

Eijon Ford-Thomas, grade 12, is in the same situation as Balog. Ford-Thomas said, “My parents want to see how school goes for the students going back and how the school will handle the whole Covid-19 situation.”

“My mom and I are high risk and don’t feel that, at this moment in time, we are ready to open and we need to stay closed down for a little while longer,” said Trinity Latondress, grade 10.

Heather Durkin, grade 12, said, “It’s easier on my dad since he has a high risk of getting Covid-19. I thought it would be easier to stay home and not take the risk of someone having it and not knowing, and then me getting it and giving it to them.”

A weak immune system is what is keeping Aidan Renteria, grade 12, at home. Renteria said, “I’m sick year round a lot and I don’t want the school to think I’m sick with Covid or just sick in general since my immune system is so weak. I just don’t want to risk it.

Whether returning to in-person classes or continuing virtual learning, there is no true right answer. The only true right thing to do is to take every precaution to keep you, your family, and everyone around you safe, regardless of what your schooling looks like. Hopefully then, all students will be able to be in one school building and live out what some people call the best years of their lives.