Alternate Learning Platforms Face Student Opposition

Kitana Ford, Copy Editor

Uncertain, outraged, dejected—of which are only a few emotions among students that have been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the World Economic Forum,”over a billion students worldwide are unable to go to school or university, due to measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.” Which has led the Forum to come to the conclusion that the outbreak will have a considerable impact on global education. 

School services include guidance counselors, school psychologists, special education supports, behavior specialists and more commonly known services provided by the school nurse, lunch room staff, janitorial staff and administrators. While guidance counselors are making an effort to keep in contact with students regarding post-high school plans, lunch room staff are distributing free meals to students in need via food trucks that are commonly posted up around the community and administrators are working with teachers to continue education from home, many school services have ceased. Among those include regular therapy with school psychologists, special education support and treatment with behavior specialists that cannot be provided outside of school. 

A mother of four that wishes to remain unnamed in order to protect the identity of herself and her children, expressed concern for her youngest daughter who obtains therapy through school. Coupled with her daughter’s lowered immune system, she is not only struggling to find services for her daughter outside of school, she is also grappling with the notion that she is more susceptible to COVID-19.

In a like manner, students are experiencing discord as a result of extracurricular activities being cancelled. 

Senior Simon Suminski provides insight about the impact that school closures have had on his ability to participate in school activities. “My participation in clubs such as Student Government, Key Club and FBLA were my entire life and in a matter of days, everything that I had been working towards for the past four years of my life disappeared.”

On another note, students are adjusting to learning via packets or online platforms.

The coronavirus has completely changed how my life structure is. I can’t go to school anymore and see my peers or teachers in the halls. I feel like my education has been stripped away along with everything that mattered to me,” said Suminski. 

Furthermore, seniors are met with uncertainty when it comes to the previously scheduled events that are traditionally put on for them. To provide context, while many schools in the United States have decided to shut down school for the remainder of the year, have arranged alternate learning opportunities, altered the required number of days in school in order to move onto the next grade level and cancelled all standardized tests, they have yet to address graduation and senior events.  

“I hold on to the thought that I will have a senior prom, a senior walkout, a prank day, a final goodbye to the teachers that have supported me and a last laugh with my friends. [More importantly, I hold onto the idea] of walking across the stage at graduation, accepting my diploma and stepping into the next phase of my life,” said Suminski. 

Overall concerns following the termination of school services, use of alternate learning platforms and effect on graduation have risen among the student population.