Opinion: It is time to move to a 4-day, in-school plan

The+ice+hockey+and+boys+varsity+and+ninth-grade+basketball+teams+will+have+to+quarantine.

Wikimedia Commons

The ice hockey and boys varsity and ninth-grade basketball teams will have to quarantine.

Ethan Spozarski, Multimedia Editor

The week of Sept. 25, I was exposed to someone at work who later that day tested positive for COVID-19. The following day I began quarantining for approximately two weeks.

A rush of anger and sadness hit me hard. At the same time, I realized I was doing my family, friends, and myself a favor by guaranteeing our safety and health.

Because I remained healthy through this period, eventually I became angry again. Online learning is a good and productive way of schooling, but I learn better in person. And nothing hurt more than knowing I was okay but not being able to be in school or go out.

Adaptations are a necessary part of life and everyone has to learn how to change when it is necessary. The hybrid program for school has proven to be something everyone’s been able to get used to.

But as time moves on and we have found ways to take the needed precautions to provide for the well being and safety of all students, it is time for Baldwin to take another step toward normalcy.

It is time to bring all students back to school for four days a week, with one day off for extensive building cleaning.

Some other school districts in the area already have decided to have students in school four or five days a week, including Moon Township, Chartiers Valley, and Hampton.

This would be something that everyone at Baldwin could benefit from.

Personally, in-school, hands-on learning is something I benefit greatly from. Watching videos, and doing practice sheets can only get you so far by yourself. On top of getting to work with peers, being able to get the teacher’s input in person and in that moment when you need it is a big plus — rather than waiting hours for an email the teacher may not see in time.

With a change like this, students who currently are full-time remote could continue with that program. And people who are not comfortable with being in school more than two days a week could shift to all remote learning if they wanted to.

 

This week, Harrison, McAnnulty, and Whitehall schools have all retreated back to full remote learning with the positive COVID-19 diagnosis of a substitute teacher who worked in all three schools. This setback just shows that schools will continue to need to adapt. There won’t be a perfect way to run schools this year, but the closer we can get to normal, the better it will be.

A sense of normalcy is well overdue in the world, especially for all of us here at Baldwin. While COVID-19 is not over yet, it is time to take another step toward “normal.”