FCPS Students Weigh-In on Virtual Learning

Hunter Dickinson, Writer

This year with the ever changing precautions for COVID-19, the safety of students has to come first. Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) has been doing virtual learning since March, and it has had its ups and downs in its effectiveness with students. Back in March, many teachers were sending out assignments to get through the end of the year. Now with the start of a new school year, there’s more structure: there’s a schedule, student support hours, and teachers actually teaching their students again. However, even with more structure this year, some students still aren’t on board with the virtual learning. 

Many students like that they can be comfortable while learning. “I like the comfort of being in my own home, and being able to eat and use the restroom whenever I need to,” says Rowan Huy, a senior here at TJ.

Many other students have the same opinion as Rowan. It’s nice to have better comfort and space when learning. When asked what some FCPS students liked about virtual learning, comfort was a common answer. For others, it is helpful for their mental health and well-being. Presley Winer, a senior at TJ says, “I can take as many breaks as I can.” Presley also expressed that it’s helpful that there’s no longer anxiety when she doesn’t know an answer to a question. 

“I like that I don’t have to worry about my classmates talking and distracting me,” Emily Trdina, a junior from Walkersville expressed. 

Many other students think there are definitely areas to improve on with virtual learning. Majority of students all agreed on more forgiving late policies. Some students may not have proper internet access at home, might have to go to and from homes depending on their housing situation, or it could just overwhelm them. Others agreed that there are things that lack in comparison to a classroom setting. 

“Being autistic means that I depend on being in a classroom and having access to physical work I can handle in order to understand.” Oliva de Guzman says, a senior at TJ. “I tend to now rely on the google captions which aren’t very reliable.” 

Students also agreed that the lack of one on one time with teachers is upsetting. Many feel like it’s harder to get help or get in touch with their teachers. They all miss that teacher to student connection from being in person. 

Despite things that need to improve, many students understand that due to these circumstances it’s for the best. “I think virtual learning is necessary, but is being executed incorrectly.” says Cameron Dawson, a junior at TJ.

As COVID-19 precautions continue, so will virtual learning. In the possible future, maybe we will see changes and improvements to keep both students and teachers comfortable, but for now there are good and bad aspects to this situation.