West Boca Students Ask In Person Vs. Distance Learning

COVID-19 Spread Pre cautions

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COVID-19 Spread Pre cautions

Annael Toledano, Assistant Editor

It’s crazy to think that we’ve come to a point where students have to now decide between risking their lives or getting an in person education. Distance learning began six months ago and who would’ve ever thought that entering the school year of 2020-2021 we would still be in the same situation. Entering the second week of this year the district of Palm Beach County is now giving the option to students on whether they would like to remain virtual or attend in person. However, what does this decision really mean? Will the necessary precautions be enforced? Will 20+ kids be in the same classroom? Will thousands of students be in the same cafeteria for lunch? Will the six feet rule be enforced? Will students who feel symptoms actually stay home? These are all valid questions today. Although, is the risk of your child getting sick worth it for a better education? It’s completely understandable that parents need to go to work and their children remaining home isn’t an option. It is also valid that some students may be in perfect health and the odds are in their favor of ending up okay. But will your child consider their peers when making decisions throughout their day? Masks are hard for everyone but them taking it off for a split second inside the classroom can make all the difference. Depending on different scenarios the unfortunate effects are endless. 


Although, will the good out way the bad? Six months of no school definitely had a negative impact on students. Being at school in an environment that is meant to challenge you on a daily basis versus most students’ beds is a huge difference. These six months have fed into various unhealthy habits such as procrastination and laziness. Being in the classroom allows the teacher to monitor the students and hold them accountable, the same doesn’t go for distance learning. There is only so much one can do through a screen so how can an education rely on it. Besides the learning aspect, school is also the most vital place where students enhance their social skills. Communicating with peers is crucial in everyday life and is detrimental to an individual’s mental health. Kids being locked away during quarantine has definitely taken a toll on many and some rely on school to be their source of branching out. The character development formed in this educational stage could be said to make or break the basis of students’ futures. The skills they pick up, the information they learn, and the connections they make are important and the virtual aspect can’t replace it. 


However, COVID-19 is still a target. The lives of students, teachers, families, and surrounding communities are at risk and that is the priority. Virtual learning can be effective if the students hold themselves accountable. Just as in person learning can be constructive if the correct guidelines are followed. New rules which have been enforced on students to keep the cameras on, teachers assigning participation grades, and utilizing breakout rooms are great additions in adapting to this situation. If in-person students cooperate with the precautions of keeping masks on, maintaining social distance guidelines, and overall being cautious of their surroundings the effect of going back to school will be significantly different. Throughout these past months many resources have been created to enhance virtual learning and on a daily basis the CDC is releasing more information on how to prevent the spread. In the stage we are in today there are valid arguments for in person and distance learning. The real question is which will you be doing? Let us know in our poll!