Platteville High School students share thoughts on the current online schooling situation

Platteville High School’s decision to offer online schooling in light of COVID-19 has left students uncertain about the near future of their education. Currently, the school is taking an approach which allows students to meet with each of their instructors once per week for an hour via video call to discuss the previous week’s lesson and to talk about questions the students may have about the current weeks. It is to the students’ best interest to attend video calls in real time, but they are not penalized for not being present.

With regards to grading, Platteville High School has adopted the following policy: “For fourth quarter, students will receive no less than a 60% passing grade. Also, fourth quarter grades will start with what they earned in third quarter and can only go up.”

Platteville High School students expressed mixed feelings about online schooling in response to a request posted on an Instagram story asking for their opinions. Overall, they are thankful for the online schooling opportunity and the way it is being handled, but for many students, it is not the ideal alternative.

Freshman Shaena Prestegard said, “For students with higher grades, it isn’t rewarding to do online classes because our grades are already so good. After a long school year full of stress and high expectations, it is difficult to find the motivation to do work for what seems like no reason.” Several other students echoed the statement about feeling unmotivated.

A select number of students felt unproductive learning online at home. They said that their younger siblings distracted them from their work, and that resisting the temptation of using their cell phone was also a challenge. Without a structured learning environment like school, they recognized that self-disciplining is critical to learning in a time like this.

Several of the students who responded were concerned about whether or not they would be prepared for the next academic year’s curriculum due to the limitations of online schooling. Although students are learning material they would normally be learning at this time in the classroom, meeting once a week is apparently neither sufficient nor effective enough.

In addition, some respondents expressed concerns for peers at Platteville High School who do not have regular access to Wi-Fi, which unfortunately has added yet another hurdle to online schooling.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to change every day, it is uncertain whether schools in the Platteville School District will be able to open for the remaining semester. What is certain is that all students who responded are eager to return to school.