The Student News Site of Freedom High School



Why so many students are switching back to distance learning

Students who take school from online are able to enjoy classes in the nice spring weather.

Freedom High School has gone from completely online, to two day in person hybrid classes, to four days a week of classes for those who want to attend. On April 20, Freedom High School students started back to school four days a week. 

So far everything has gone fine, considering school has not had to be cancelled for any major COVID-19 breakouts. Spring sports have continued as normal as they can, of course with masks and other precautions. All kids who want to attend have been able to, and students are even able to sit together during lunch safely.

However, since the start of four day instruction last month, many students have switched back to distance learning and decided to finish the school year from home. Many students and parents had pushed for FHS students to go back since the beginning of the year, yet the dwindling number of in school students seems to contradict the initial desire for in person school. 

Senior Carly St. Laurent had initially signed up for the hybrid classes, but she did not attend many of them. By the time students had the option to come in four days a week, St. Laurent decided to switch back to distance learning. She felt restricted and ended up enjoying her school days at home much more than in person school.

“I already had such a set routine at home,” St. Laurent said, “and I was so used to being on my own time and schedule.”

Assistant Principal Fred LeMaster helped put together many of the protocols for bringing students back to school full time. Though he is a little surprised by the amount of students who dropped out, he understands that there are many factors that drove students to switch back to distance learning. 

“Some students were just not comfortable with how many students were there even with all the safety precautions in place,” LeMaster said.

With spring sports going on, students who are participating in their final season of a sport seemed to also not want to attend hybrid. Administrators such as LeMaster speculated that many students who dropped in person school were seniors that did not want to risk having to miss part of their season.

“We have many spring athletes,” LeMaster said, “and after seeing what the other sports went through with COVID and shutting down the sports I don’t think they wanted to take that chance.”

One of the positives of coming back to school is that, despite the smaller class sizes than usual, plans have gone accordingly and FHS was able to keep students back in school so far for the rest of the school year. There is hope for next year and Loudoun County seems to be expecting that all students will be back five days a week.

St. Laurent hopes that students next year can have a better experience than she had this year.

“Next year the school should do everything they can to make it a memorable year for everyone,” St. Laurent said.

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