Students reflect on learning options


Photo by Katlynn Fox

Senior Reagan Le completes online school work for her online courses. Le has one in-person class and two online classes.

Prior to the start of the school year, students were given the opportunity to choose between virtual learning, in-person learning and virtual plus (a combination of remote and on campus courses.) Approximately 1150 students opted for in-person, 870 chose virtual and 770 chose virtual plus. All students began the year with remote instruction on Aug. 19, and in-person learning starting on Sept. 8. With the student body physically separated, The Hawk Eye asked three students about the unique challenges they encounter with their learning option. 

Virtual Plus Student: Senior Reagan Le

On Sept. 8, senior Regan Le returned to school for the first time in six months as a virtual plus student. 

When we were given the option, I immediately went to virtual plus,” Le said. “I felt like there were certain classes where I would benefit more [by taking] virtually, and other classes where I could just come into school and socialize and not worry too much. I’m very much a self-taught person. I thrive better in self-taught situations, so I felt like it was the best option.”

Le is enrolled in virtual Environmental Systems and English. Many students had to opt for in-person or virtual plus learning due to several courses only being offered on campus. This includes activity courses, athletics, career center courses and various core classes. 

For virtual plus my first two periods are online, and then I come in for third period for Aquatic Science, and leave for fourth period,” Le said. “At first I was really excited to go back to school and see everyone, but then I regretted it a little because of the pressure to make it to school on time. I was [also] scared for my parents, because they are older and more susceptible to coronavirus, so I was just worried that I was going to bring the virus home to them.”

Currently, (for the week of Sept. 8-11) Hebron has four confirmed COVID-19 cases. This is the highest count out of all LISD schools; that includes all students and staff both virtual and in person. The school has implemented safety precautions in an attempt to protect everyone present on campus, including mandatory facial coverings and social distancing rules. 

“A lot of my friends from different schools started a bit earlier than me, and their schools had rules like desks being six feet apart, they had to sanitize after every class and when they walked during passing periods they had to walk in a line six feet apart from each other,” Le said. “I just thought that Hebron did it really differently.”

Junior Claire Clausen was one of 870 students who decided to continue learning virtually. (Photo by Grace Edgeworth)

Online Student: Junior Claire Clausen

“I liked going to school like normal last year, and I’m sad I can’t do it for junior year too, but it’s not too bad,” Clausen said. “I get a lot of work, but I always get it done in a good amount of time. I still have time to do things that I want to do in my day even though there’s school.”

Clausen is currently taking Pre-AP physics, art 1, AP English 3 and choir all virtually. She typically starts working at 9 a.m. and finishes all her work by 4 p.m. 

“I was going to take interior design 1 and I ended up having to drop it to stay virtual,” Clausen said. “I was pretty sad about it, because it looked like a really fun class, but hopefully I’ll be able to take it again some other time.”

Clausen said she misses going to school, seeing her friends and having after-school events. However, she is still confident in her choice.

“I think I did make the right decision,” Clausen said. “Of course I’d always rather be [attending] in-person school, but I think for now online school is the best choice for me.  I would love to be back in-person by January, but again, we’re going to have to see.”

Sophomore Ryan Kaiser types on a school-issued computer on Sept. 17. Students are still allowed to use devices provided by LISD, but have to take precautions such as wiping them down before and after use. (Photo By Emma Short)

In-Person Student: Sophomore Ryan Kaiser

Sophomore Ryan Kaiser chose to attend school in-person and returned to campus Sept. 8.

“I’m glad that I did in-person because I can see all of my friends,” Kaiser said. “I learn better in-person than online because I get distracted easily. [During remote learning] I would leave meetings early because I could just press the button, but now I can’t just leave.”

Some of the disadvantages to in-person learning are the safety precautions, which limit students’ ability to interact with others. 

“I can’t socialize in the same ways,” Kaiser said. “I can only sit with two people at a table at lunch. We don’t have block lunch, so I can’t talk to all of my friends and we have to stay six feet apart from each other.”

Kaiser says the safety precautions LISD put in place aren’t being followed as much as they could be, but there’s nothing else the school can really do. 

“They tried to keep us six feet apart but during passing period, kids were running into me,” Kaiser said. “Kids don’t wear their masks properly and two bathrooms were out of soap. They did a good job with the one-way hallways [and] I’m glad they don’t let us go [to the bathroom] during passing period because everyone would be sharing germs and getting sick.”