Is Returning to In-Person Learning a Good Idea?

Seth Hrnicir-Van Metre, Staff Writer

In person learning is a controversial topic among students at Stone Bridge, many of whom have withdrawn their support entirely due to the safety hazards presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.


“I don’t mind having to take multiple precautions as long as I’m able to see my classmates in school one last time, but everyone’s health and safety always comes at the forefront.” senior Hannah Hejazi said.


Despite the risks presented with going back to school, students agree that working in a separate environment to their homes is beneficial to their concentration and learning experience. 


“I feel that distance learning is safe but it is very complicated to get a grip on,” senior Elion Azari said. “And many kids, including myself, feel disconnected and would rather interact in a more active social setting.”

Back in march 2020, Governor Northam signed an executive order of public emergency due to COVID-19, sending students into a virtual learning environment. The last few weeks before summer break were difficult for many, and students are still having trouble adjusting to distance learning in the new school year.


“I like in person learning so much more. When you talk through a screen it’s really hard to pay attention to anything that is going on.” senior Megan Frederick said.


The Virginia Department of Education’s guidelines for reopening schools have been split into 3 phases, with the current active phase being phase 1. The goal for the year is to transition to phase 3, with full in-person learning, however due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, this goal seems unlikely.


“I want to go back in person learning, but currently it isn’t safe to do so,” Frederick said. “I assume they will slowly ease everyone back into it”


Distance learning is a relatively new idea with the first example of it appearing roughly 300 years ago. The contemporary nature of distance learning leaves it up to students to debate the effectiveness versus In-Person learning.


“I miss being in classrooms and having the ability to discuss the lessons with the students around me,” senior Elle Weiss said. “I would like to go back to in-person learning at a safe time when the schools have a system to keep everyone safe and healthy”


In-person learning  has been demonstrated to be an effective way to teach students, with the majority of American students having only an in-person learning environment their entire lives. Stonebridge students in particular are aching to go back to normal.


“All these months of distance learning made me realize how valuable in-person learning is,” Hejazi said.“I keep on hoping that the current situation improves and we’re given the opportunity to shift into a hybrid model.”