Students decide to go all-virtual


Jane Holmes, Staff Writer

The 2020/2021 school year has granted students autonomy like never before, as they are allowed to decide whether to participate in hybrid or all-virtual learning. Recently, there has been a steady increase in students deciding to participate in all virtual learning. According to Ms. Pottheiser, the school attendance secretary, after Thanksgiving the number of students that decided to be all-virtual increased significantly. It is more convenient for these students to roll out of bed and log into a class rather than get ready for an hour and make their commute to school. According to Ms.Gruters there were 107 students that were all-virtual and there are currently 313 students who are all-virtual.

Switching to all virtual or simply just going virtual for the day is a lot of work for the teachers. For the virtual students, the staff is taking the name and number of a parent or guardian calling and a reason for them going all virtual. Then the parent is told that they need to write down an email to Dr. Neigel. Mrs. Gruters then needs to turn on a switch in power school which will show that the student is all virtual. This long process needs to be done daily for several students. 

Students switching to all-virtual is also a burden on the teachers, simultaneously affecting their daily teaching plans and jobs as a whole. For Ms. Pottheiser it is a difficult job to handle all of the calls and updates each day. 

She said, “I went from having between 8 to 15 phone messages a day to anywhere from 60 to 80 phone messages a day. And that was mostly students going virtual for the day. It was crazy in the office from right after Thanksgiving until we went all remote last Wednesday. The phone did not stop ringing.  So my workload was crazy intense and I loved every minute of it.” 

When staff was asked about their jobs they all seemed to agree that they still love their jobs. As it is heartbreaking and different to them they still love it and are there every day doing what needs to be done. 

She then continued to tell me, “ I love working from home. But I do miss my friends at work. I miss the camaraderie of the office. I also believe that all of the students need to be back in school, as it is so much better for them.” 

In the long run, parents need to do what is best for their family and if that is to switch their child to all-virtual for their safety, then so be it.