In the two days following Thanksgiving break, McNick implemented two remote learning days. Students attended class sessions remotely on Microsoft Teams, and went to classes as usual under a slightly altered schedule.
“The thought was let’s provide a little insulation from contagion coming back into the building if families are going to gather on Thanksgiving day…a secondary goal was to practice a format for remote learning as sort of a contingency plan in case we need to go remote in the future,” principal David Mueller said.
In a survey of students and faculty by the Milestone, the majority of respondents indicated that their experience with the remote learning had gone well. Reasons included allowing students to be more comfortable in their own space, and having less time wasted overall, allowing students to accomplish more work.
“I feel more comfortable and safer sitting at home; I get more productive for some reason, probably due to the comfort. [There was] no time wasted in between classes, so it was more efficient in general,” senior Quan Le said.
“I get to sleep in, which means I’m well rested and ready to go. Everything is easily accessible, and I can learn from the comfort and safety of my own home,” sophomore Harlan Mulvey said.
Some of the downsides of the remote days included the potential for distractions, less student interaction, and difficulty in classes that are more hands on.
“Labs and other hands on lessons are almost impossible…it is very challenging to have valid tests,” said science teacher Regina Goines.
“I really missed the social aspect of in-person learning. I didn’t talk to anyone new during my virtual classes. I also didn’t feel as focused due to my family members talking to me during classes, my cat laying on my tablet, and just the fact that I wasn’t at school,” freshman Mary Metzger said.
Looking forward, it is currently unknown whether or not McNick will be having more remote learning days.
“Right now we do not have any intention to move to remote learning days, our lean is to stay on campus. That being said, health and safety comes first,” Mueller said.