Kennedy High School students will be able to choose online classes in the 2021-2022 school year.
The first semester of the 2020-2021 school year was online for all Kennedy students due to the derecho and pandemic. When the building reopened to students on Jan. 19, hybrid and fully remote learning options were provided. Students could choose to stay home and attend their classes through Google Meets or come to school in person every other day. On Feb. 15, the option to come in person every day was also added.
The 2021-2022 school year will not be the same because hybrid learning option will be gone. Teachers can choose to teach online, so some classes have a teacher-led online option.
The Cedar Rapids Virtual Academy (CRVA) will be the only option for students who want a fully remote schedule. This program allows students to work at their own pace online without teachers while still earning credit toward their high school diploma. Students like Isaac White, fr., preferred the virtual academy during the pandemic.
“If there was another pandemic, yes [I would do CRVA again]. Next year, no [I will not do CRVA again]. I am a social guy,” White said.
Students have become accustomed to staying at home while learning through Google Meets.
“I chose online this year just for simplicity sake, you know?” said Brandon Beaver, fr. “We had already started online due to the derecho and I was already so used to the format I just didn’t want to switch.”
Other students find learning from home can be distracting.
“I’m more productive at school because it’s much harder to procrastinate,” Ellie Hance, fr., said.
Spending a lot of time in front of a screen also impacts mental health. According to Science Direct, moderate or severe depression was associated with more time spent watching TV and using computers.
“I get depressed and anxious if I’m always by myself staring at a screen all day,” Eva Ford, fr., said.
Social interaction in in-person school was the tipping point for a number of students.
“[I’m] leaning towards in person simply because I miss the social aspect of school and it’s going to present some sort of normalcy in life again,” Beaver said.