The Lack of Attendance at the High School

Students+%28Michael+Mahoney%2C+Katherine+Mora%2C++Zo%C3%AB+Rose%29+in+Mr.+Tullos+calculus+class+learn+virtually%2C+despite+being+present+in+school.

Isolde McManus

Students (Michael Mahoney, Katherine Mora, Zoë Rose) in Mr. Tullo’s calculus class learn virtually, despite being present in school.

Daniela Lastras Castrejon, Writer

Zoom calls or snooze calls? The pandemic has tested schools and teachers, forcing them to make an online version of school for their remote students who have concerns about COVID and feel safer at home. Even though teachers have been working tirelessly creating new lesson plans and learning how to be the best for their students in this new format, there are some things that just can’t be done online. Because of remote learning, students miss out on connections with their peers and teachers, creating a barrier between students and their education. 

This barrier is especially prominent in music classes, where students are no longer able to hear their peers, making students less inclined to go to class. In classes like band, orchestra, and chorus, hearing your peers is an extremely important part of the class because, unlike most classes, students are working together. Due to the pandemic, teachers have been teaching music via google meets, which is less engaging because students are only hearing themselves.

The disconnection between students and their teachers/education also comes from electronic devices. Unlike school in person, during remote learning, teachers cannot see if a student is watching Netflix on a separate tab or texting their friends. The temptation to use devices for things other than education during school hours can become a distraction and blur the line between school activities and things one would normally do at home.

For Olivia, a high school senior at Hendrick Hudson High School, going to school in person gives her a “feeling of normalcy,” but when school is fully remote, she finds it “hard to find the motivation to focus and not get distracted by outside factors like social media, pets, and family at home.”

One pro of online school is that it allows students to get more sleep because they don’t have to drive/take a bus to school or get ready for school. However, this means some students wake up minutes before class starts and go to class in their pajamas because they are in the comforts of their own home. Such habits can make a student less inclined to go to class and more inclined to sleep through the first few periods of classes, which is beneficial to students’ sleep, but not to their education.

Remote learning can also be very exhausting for students because there is not as much structure and help from teachers. Students and teachers also have to work with a lot of screen time and students sometimes have to submit assignment after assignment, which can be very daunting. This is true for Amanda, a high school senior at Hendrick Hudson High School, who has found herself “more detached, unmotivated, and unwilling to put in any effort than” she has ever been in her high school career. These exhausting feelings that come from remote learning may make students less motivated to go to class and more likely to miss class altogether. 

For Amanda, she not only feels exhausted from “8 hours” plus “hours more to do homework” of screen time just for her classes, but she also feels stressed from “external factors relating to COVID like [her] family’s health and finances.”

In conclusion, remote learning has shown that it has its disadvantages, especially concerning students’ education. But hopefully, within time, the school will begin to be in-person as COVID cases decrease and more students decide to return to in-person school.