More students should take advantage of in-person learning

Freshmen+students+take+part+in+Mr.McGovern%27s+English+class+during+fourth+period.

Liam Mathews

Freshmen students take part in Mr.McGovern’s English class during fourth period.

Liam Mathews, Editor-in-chief

I have spent most of this school year staring at a screen all day, wondering when school would feel normal again. If you had asked me at any time before we got wind of RB starting a new hybrid learning model, which involves four days of in-person instruction each week, I probably would have told you school wouldn’t feel normal again until next year. Now that I have completed two weeks of this new model, I can say that I was wrong. School finally does feel normal again.

While this new model has seen fairly high attendance compared to past hybrid models, there’s still a large number of students who are staying fully remote. I understand that some of my peers may be concerned about COVID, but in all honesty, at this point in the pandemic, and given a hybrid model as good as this, I believe those concerns are misplaced.

The pandemic has already robbed us of a year of our lives, and I believe that now is the time when we should be taking our lives back. Since RB started allowing in-person learners in January, there has not been a single COVID case transmitted in the school, as all students, teachers and personnel have worn masks and followed CDC guidelines at all times. I truly do not believe it is at all unsafe to come into school at this time.

On top of the fact that RB has created a safe environment for learning during this pandemic, I can say that the school is once again providing students with a top-notch education in the building. As a junior, I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to be a freshman during this time. I’m sure many members of the class of 2024 have never even stepped foot in the building. 

While I think that all students should be taking advantage of any in-person learning opportunities that are offered, I feel that freshmen especially should take part in this hybrid model. Freshmen who actually come into the building for school will at least have gotten something of a feel for RB by the start of their sophomore year, and will thus be much better prepared for the rest of high school than their counterparts who choose to remain fully remote.

The amount of personal connection between students and teachers which can be accomplished in-person is far greater than that which can be achieved through Zoom. Even just getting a few minutes of personal interaction when in the building will help younger RB students get fully acclimated to high school.

To me this situation comes down to risk versus reward, and while there is some risk involved when you come into school, I believe the reward to be far greater. The lack of a single COVID transmission in school shows that the risk of catching the virus while attending school in-person is quite low, and the benefits of actually being in school are countless. On top of getting a better education, students who attend in-person learning will get more social interaction, be better prepared to take tests, create a better relationship with their teachers, and reap many more benefits.