Students During covid (Digital to Physical Transition)

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courtesy of Daniel Jung

Daniel Jung,11, set up for online school. Jung can manage time and access his classes much easier through these devices as opposed to going to school in-person.

The Coronavirus pandemic and the spread of the Covid-19 virus has changed school life all across the board. Some school districts have reopened as they usually operate, with crowded hallways and classrooms where students cannot practically comply with social distancing guidelines from the CDC. School districts like Mill Creek have tried to lessen the risk of Covid-19 by enforcing the CDC’s, Center for Disease Control, guidelines: such as wearing masks, gloves, and keeping at least six feet away from peers. They have also kept close tabs on where everyone has been and what they have touched, as well as increasing efforts of janitorial and cleaning staff to keep surfaces germ-free. As an additional measure, the student population was split between attending school in-person, and attending school through digital means. Students stayed digital for a number of weeks, and little by little, they began to come to school in-person, while others stayed home. Students have a lot to say about this digital-physical school split.

Students say that digital school has its pros and cons. Daniel Jung, 11, for example, has benefited greatly from the digital format. Jung is a member of multiple student organizations, such as the Asian Americans Student Association and Orchestra Leadership Council, and he has made the point that being digital has made his jobs in school and as an officer much easier. Jung even believes that in the future, digital school will become a more permanent part of school life.

“I think that’s(digital school remaining available in the future) the case, because it’s just so much more flexible and it gives people that would traditionally have been excluded from the club for transportation reasons a way to participate.”

Many students have concerns for safety concerning physical school and the coronavirus pandemic, and are avoiding physical school for that very reason. EPIC student, Kimberly Haygood, 10, shows concern for peers who chose in-person school.

“I’m scared for all of my classmates, but I guess if they’re having fun this year online or at school I think it will be fine,” Haygood said.

One of Haygood’s classmates, Sara Curtin, 10, an attendee of in-person school, has mostly positive feelings about her choice. She does have concerns for her health, but she is reassured by the efforts of the staff and her peers in keeping the school as clean as possible. Curtin

“I personally prefer physical school over digital,” Curtin says, “A pro is getting to see friends who also went back to school in person, and seeing the teacher and asking them a question instead of having to unmute and hope they’re listening. And I, personally, can focus better at school.”

Some students believe that making the option available for digital attendance even after the pandemic is over is a good idea, some students would prefer to stay in physical school. The digital format has been executed fairly smoothly for most everybody. The split between students attending digital school and those attending school in person has been a means of discovery for students of different lifestyles, personalities, and backgrounds.