In-person learning provides better education

The school has returned to a full in-person schedule after months of hybrid learning, which proves ideal for many students.

Pictured+is+Daniel+Armes%27s+4th+period+AP+calculus+class.+The+students+returned+to+full+in-person+learning+on+April+21%2C+2021.+Photo+by+Caden+Moe.

Pictured is Daniel Armes’s 4th period AP calculus class. The students returned to full in-person learning on April 21, 2021. Photo by Caden Moe.

Caden Moe, Opinion Editor

Monday, April 19, 2021: After several months of hybrid learning, you are finally going in-person full time, regaining just a little bit of normalcy. As you see way more students inside the building than you have for a long time, you begin to ask yourself, “Was this a good idea?”

With the vaccines rolling out and it becoming safer to go out around other people, now seems like as good a time as any to switch back to in-person learning. A lot of students have been unable to communicate with their close friends much for way too long. The ability to socialize is important for mental health, a definite plus of this change.

“I think it all just centers around that socialization piece,” said associate principal for student services Mike Pryzybylski. “I think it’s better for kids to be in the building and be able to communicate face to face with their fellow peers and their teachers.”

Socialization is definitely different during COVID-19, however. The strictly enforced social distancing protocols and plexiglass teaching desk set-ups  prevent teachers and staff from having the same rapport with students as they did before the pandemic.

“I normally walk through the hallways and see teachers and students and connect and interact with them,” said security guard Daniel Gallagher. “And now it’s usually just a ‘hi’ and ‘have a good day’.”

Still, the core of school is education, and it is very easy to argue in favor of in-person learning as it provides students with a better education. Not only can they communicate with their teachers more easily, but in-person classes hold students more accountable than Zoom classes do.

“I get easily distracted at home on my computer,” said sophomore Adam Cardamoni. “I can easily click off of Zoom to watch a video.”

Ultimately, the biggest issue at hand is whether or not students are safe from COVID-19. Yes, there are protocols that students have to follow- including staying at least three feet from each other and wearing masks at all times- however, it is difficult to be completely safe when not everybody is vaccinated yet. 

This is especially pronounced thanks to how students are required to quarantine if they are too close to somebody who tests positive. While this is a good policy, it is telling how in the second week of in-person learning alone, over sixty students were quarantined.

Thankfully, students have gotten better at staying safe over time, with only nine students quarantining this past week. Besides, the above-mentioned pros are great enough for many students to be willing to take the risk.

“I’m able to keep focused more and also I’m able to see some of my friends,” said sophomore Aidan Pelletier. “So that’s quite nice compared to being remote and not really knowing anyone.”

While the current situation is not ideal, Grayslake Central continues to do its best to give students a solid education.