Students react to the adjustments and demands of online school

Students+have+been+using+the+educational+resource+site+Canvas+to+receive+and+complete+all+assignments+for+each+of+their+classes+as+they+transition+to+remote+learning+in+light+of+new+restrictions+due+to+COVID-19.+

Maggie Kroeger

Students have been using the educational resource site Canvas to receive and complete all assignments for each of their classes as they transition to remote learning in light of new restrictions due to COVID-19.

Maggie Kroeger, Editor in Chief

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the closure of all schools on March 17 due to the threat and concern about exposure to coronavirus. This led to many questions and the planning of how to continue education through the rest of the year, with an entire quarter of school left to finish. While some districts chose to not require continued learning, USD 232 chose to carry on learning remotely. De Soto High School students are now completing their first full week of online classes. 

Clearly, transitioning from face-to-face learning to an online program is a large adjustment that many students have been experiencing since the resume of courses on April 3. For senior Addison Gress, the switch to online school among the current circumstances of the pandemic has been difficult. 

“I think it’s good to keep us learning and all, but some teachers are overloading work and it just feels like they’re forgetting that we have other classes too,” Addison said. “A lot of people are stressed out, working and living in a literal pandemic, so assigning so much work just kind of makes matters worse.” 

Gress’, Katelyn Gress, is a sophomore at DHS, and has similar feelings about how remote learning has impacted her daily life. 

“I feel pretty overwhelmed so far with online school and trying to figure out how each class is going to work for the rest of the year,” Katelyn said. “It can be super stressful to complete each class and it’s hard to focus during the day when I’m at home.” 

Some students have expressed the feeling of a decline within their mental health, including the Gress’. 

“Honestly, I think that online school hasn’t had a good impact on my mental health because I find it super overwhelming to try and figure out where to find my assignments each week for every single class,” Katelyn said. “It’s also really stressful to keep track of every due date because multiple of my teachers have chosen different days to make their assignments due.” 

Addison feels comparable, adding that “with working and doing school, I’ve found that  unless I wake up early and do my homework in the morning and at night, I would never get my work done. It’s stressing me out.” 

For junior Hallie Scott, the largest drawback to online school is missing out on the social interaction that comes from going to school in person. 

“I think there are definitely a lot of pros and cons to it [online school], but overall I don’t really miss the school aspect. It’s more the extra activities like prom and soccer season,” Scott explained. “I also don’t get to see my friends everyday or have that face-to-face interaction with teachers, but some positives are getting more time on certain assignments and having a lot of time at home.” 

Senior Colton Jones relates about the social component of school, as well as how it affects ability to learn. 

“I think that the social aspect of school is the biggest challenge of online learning so far. Not even just getting to see my friends, but being in the classroom truly does help so much more than students understood before,” Jones said. 

Overall, many students agreed that their biggest challenge and workload has come from AP classes. 

While a semester grade cannot be lowered below one’s third quarter grade in regular courses, “exceptions to this protocol are … AP Classes, College Now Classes, Quickstep Classes, and Credit Recovery Courses,” according to an April 9 update posted on the USD 232 website. This means that assignments given from those classes will count toward fourth quarter grades and impact grades for the semester. 

“So far, AP Literature seems to be assigning the most work so far, as well as any AP class for that matter,” Addison said. “Classes like Political Participation and choir have a light, reasonable workload, which I really appreciate.” 

Scott is also in a similar situation, with her higher level classes having heavy workloads. 

“My hardest classes are still APLAC and Pre-Calculus. The level of difficulty has definitely stayed the same, and the only difference is that I get all of my assignments at once.”