Distance Learning at SHS
March 18, 2020
Due to the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo announced the decision to close all public schools in Westchester for at least two more weeks. In a climate of fear and anxiety, students and teachers are encouraged to use their online resources creatively and continue their studies.
The Education Continuity Plan Supported By Technology (e-learning) aims to “provide enrichment and to help students organize their schedules” through tools such as GSuite, school wires, Seesaw, Schoology, Zoom, and Remind. While the high school has begun test runs of e-learning since Thursday, March 12, the middle school began on Monday, March 16 with Schoology, a social networking service.
Distance learning especially poses challenges for families that lack high-speed internet, elementary school educators, and Special Education students. Because synchronous learning is nearly impossible to implement, it is difficult to maintain a rigid schedule and reach out to teachers. “It’s much less awkward to raise your hand and ask them a question in class than to schedule a meeting on Zoom,” said Crystal Feng ’22, a sophomore at SHS.
Teachers have had challenges accessing their materials and transferring their curriculum online, but many have made great efforts to keep a routine. “In this crazy time, we all need to be mindful of our health, but I feel that maintaining some sense of normalcy and engaging in activities that challenge our minds and distract us, at least temporarily, are also of great importance,” said Jenn Wagner, a chemistry teacher at SHS.
By making short videos, posting notes, starting live sessions, and offering office hours, the district hopes to move forward with education and avoid letting coronavirus take control of daily life.