BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Growing COVID-19 case numbers have led Ocean Springs High to transition to a hybrid learning schedule starting after Christmas break. The hope is to increase the amount of physical distancing between students, with students splitting time between the traditional classroom and learning virtually from home.
But switching back and forth between virtual and in-person learning has some students feeling apprehensive about the upcoming semester.
Senior Ederick Pina feels that virtual learning creates new challenges for many students.
“Some people, when it comes to virtual, they’re not the best at it. They’re better at school. So this will be difficult for us in my opinion,” said Ederick. “When I’m in school, I’m usually better at school than virtual.”
Pina is not alone in voicing his concerns, senior Kylee Cannan has had her own experience, having already spent one week this school year learning virtually.
“You have to be able to learn and what your best learning style is. Is staying at home really not worth learning anything?” said Kylee Cannan. “I’m a senior. I haven’t learned anything. I was quarantined and I didn’t do anything. None of my teachers even reached out to me. So it was just hard.”
While Kylee is on her way out of high school, her sister Jenna Cannan is only just beginning. Jenna hopes students will be able to voice their concerns before any decisions about virtual learning are made in the future.
“I just wish they would ask the kids, it’s always something that we don’t like,” said Jenna Cannan. “I wish they would ask. Some of us do have good ideas.”
The hybrid learning schedule is only for the first half of the spring semester and as tough as it may be, Ederick believes everyone will step up to the challenge.
“I think as we get used to it and allow ourselves to feel natural and better at it, we’ll get through this,” said Ederick.
The school district will evaluate whether to extend the hybrid schedule to the end of the school year at the end of the third nine weeks.
In addition to implementing virtual learning for the third nine weeks for high schoolers, three more 60% days have been added for all students in the district to give teachers more time to prepare and adjust to the challenges of working virtually. To read more about the district’s plans in full, click here.