Cohort C remains in distance learning

Students use different schedule

English+teacher+Andy+Wilkes+addresses+his+online+students+April+13.+Many+students+opted+to+stay+in+Cohort+C+due+to+safety+concerns+regarding+COVID-19.

Toby Khabie

English teacher Andy Wilkes addresses his online students April 13. Many students opted to stay in Cohort C due to safety concerns regarding COVID-19.

Sam Listiak

Despite many Park students returning to the building to finish off the year, junior Hiro McKee chose to stay in distance learning to avoid the risk of COVID-19.

“I don’t even feel totally safe going into school normally,” McKee said. “So I really don’t want to go in during a pandemic.”

Park returned to the building for in-person learning at unlimited capacity April 12. However, a few students have chosen to stay behind and continue distance learning for their own safety, among other reasons.

Social emotional learning Teacher Kerstin Merrill said it can be challenging to simultaneously engage distance and in-person learners.

“It’s very different and more challenging to ensure that the distance learners are getting as much of the lesson while also maintaining a classroom full of kids,” Merrill said. “It’s harder to manage because not everyone is in the same space.”

“It’s very different and more challenging to ensure that the distance learners are getting as much of the lesson while also maintaining a classroom full of kids.””

— Kerstin Merrill

Junior Carlitos Anguita-Smith said he believes teachers are doing an adequate job balancing distance and in-person students.

“I think the teachers are doing a decent job, because it’s really hard for them,” Anguita-Smith said. “I can’t really blame the teachers if I’m not learning anything. It feels like it’s more my fault (than theirs).”

Anguita-Smith said he did not return to school because of the close confinements in the school, like hallways.

“There’s too many people in small areas,” Anguita-Smith said. “I want to be fully vaccinated before going back to school.”

McKee said distance learning has changed since in-person started but has not gotten worse.

“It feels different in several ways but not in any harmful way,” McKee said. “I believe it’s better just because we have many learning resources at home compared to school.”

Merrill said it was difficult for her to give her attention to both groups at the same time.

“It’s hard because you’re needing to give 100 percent in two different places at the same time,” Merrill said. “You have to keep realizing that you need to get up and go around the room or go back to the Zoom call to make sure their questions are answered. I don’t want kids online to feel left out just because I have kids in front of me.”