Students decide whether to attend school in-person or online, but not both
By Avery Broom
At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, Oak Hall School gave students in all divisions the option of attending classes in-person or through online learning. While many students opted for the in-person route, some decided online would work best for their lifestyle. As time went on students realized the alternative option might have been a better fit, which led to students switching.
John Perlette, Head of the Upper School, states that students cannot switch unless they are committed to that learning style for nine weeks. Perlette says if a student needs to switch their learning style, he is flexible and will work with the student and parents. “A hybrid option (in-person one day, online the next) will not be an option because we need consistency,” he said. Perlette notes that online is not necessarily easier but it depends on the type of student and what learning styles fit his or her learning habits.
Oak Hall senior Graham Bernstein started the school year online, but recently transitioned to in-person classes. Bernstein expressed the main reason he switched to in-person learning was because he thought he would miss out on experiences during his last year as an Oak Hall student. Though Oak Hall has made impressive adaptations for online students, it’s still sometimes difficult for teachers and students to include online students who may feel disconnected during class. Bernstein also noted moving in-person benefitted his social life because he could not see all of his friends over the weekend for quarantine purposes, but now gets to see everyone in class or at lunch. Bernstein’s parents felt that Graham would be safe when returning to school considering their lifestyle of taking precautions. “It’s important to recognize the privilege that in-person students have because when you are online it feels awkward to interrupt the teacher to ask a question,” Bernstein said.
Oak Hall offers the flexibility of letting students switch from in person to online and vice versa if need be. Students would enjoy a flexible hybrid style learning if that was an option (to get the best of both worlds) but that currently isn’t aa choice. Some students say online is less stressful because there is a more peaceful environment to balance work and take breaks. Middle and Upper School online students get a little more free time because they do not have to physically walk to class which kids can use to their benefit.