Students Faced With Difficult Choice

Should students make a difficult decision based on how they get their education?

A letter was recently sent out to all students who attend WRHS about how they will participate for next term, beginning January 7. The letter stated that the students could either continue hybrid learning at WRHS or enroll in MUSD’s online academy or Grad point. To breakdown both options, Hybrid learning is what we have been doing since November 6. Group A (cohorts of students divided by their last names in the alphabet) would go one day to actual school while group B (students in the second half of the alphabet) will distance learn from home. It would then switch every other day, so both groups have the opportunity to be on campus.

A source told The Prowl, the Online Academy, and Grad Point options work the following way: independent study. If students choose either of these options, they would not participate or contribute in any direct instruction on the WRHS campus but can participate in activities on the WRHS campus. Because it is online learning from home, those students are not allowed to come on campus. However, if they already chose to learn from home instead of on campus, technically, they are still campus members, but only if they are athletes or part of school-sponsored activities. If they are neither, the ties to WRHS seem to be cut off. It’s all very confusing and makes us wonder why they need to impose this when things are already significantly disrupted.

This year is my last. I’ve been at WRHS for four years, and I am upset with all of this. I feel that students, particularly all MUSD seniors graduating in 2021, are somewhat forced to choose where we want to be. We want to be able to have an option to go to school and have a chance to learn at home and with the students and teachers we are used to being with. This is creating a mess for the seniors and the Senior athletes who have been playing sports at WRHS for four years. While we understand that choosing the Online Academy or Independent study allows students to still feel like a part of the campus, choosing always asks students to make a sacrifice on whether they want to continue going to school even with COVID-19 numbers going up or join the Online Academy where they may have to drop sports and give it all up just because they care about their health and safety. It doesn’t make sense to cut ties with the campus you’ve been part of for so long.

My parents were already not fond that schools opened back up so early and did not wait like the original plan to open schools back up in January. And ever since I went to school a couple of times when I was scheduled to attend, my parents told me that I would not continue hybrid learning several times and go back to distance learning. I am just speaking for myself, but my education is important, but my health becomes number one on the list for me. If MUSD had given us an early notice back in October, it might not have been such a shock to us and a tough, very last-minute decision to make for us to have to make.

Some students may not care about how they want to attend school for the next term because they may or may not participate in sports or extracurricular activities and may want to continue school from home in the proposed format moving forward in January. This decision is too much of a reaction than a viable option, and that no student should have to choose where they go to school. It’s more disruptive than anything and offers little consideration for the students and their families. Deciding this, at a time like this, is tough to fathom. We have so many disruptions, why the need to create another?