By: Faith Parkhurst/Junior Writer
Blue Ridge School Board made a decision on Monday, March 1st, to have kids decide if they want to be 5 days in-person, 5 days fully remote through Blue Ridge, or learn through Virtual Learning Network (VLN). Most students have already been going to school 4 days a week in-person, however, there were a handful of students that were either fully online or who were hybrid, which is when they came 2 days a week in-person and were virtual the other 3 days of the week.
When students were given a survey about coming back 5 days in person from being hybrid the week before they were surprisingly divided on whether they thought their mental health would improve or decline. Some said being forced to come to school combined with lack of sleep would quickly worsen their mental state and make things more difficult for them. Meanwhile, others said that being back to school more often would improve their mental health because they get to see friends and have more social interactions with people outside of their households. There was also a divide on whether or not the students felt safe returning to school 5 days a week. Some believed that with masks, social distancing, and the regular cleaning of the school, they do feel safe enough to fully return to school. On the other side, some people believed the school should have waited until all of the teachers and most of the students got the vaccine and had a 2 week transition period of having all students back 4 days a week before it was changed to having all kids come back in-person 5 days a week.
Those same kids in the survey also had an agreement on whether or not their grades would improve. Despite the split on other things, all students believe that being back in school full-time would improve their grades. They not only had an easier time focusing but they found it a lot easier to ask questions and seek help from their teachers. When asked about whether or not they thought they would get more or less sleep most agreed they would get less sleep. Not only will they have to stay up later trying to get work done but they will have to wake up at an earlier time to get ready and be at school by 8:15.
Was it a good decision to allow kids to come back to school, in-person, 5 days a week? We’ll let you decide.