Waterford High School Students vs. Zoom


Reasons WHS students did not attend in-person

Lillie Abramowicz, Reporter

Waterford High School has been in pursuit of working within the hybrid system, while keeping student, staff, and faculty safe. However, many students admit to not coming into school on their supposed in-person school days. Some of the reasons are because of the fear of safety, possible exposure, transportation issues, skipping class, sleeping in, sickness, and other personal reasons. Many teachers and faculty members wonder if their students are being cautious or lazy with their educational power in times like this.

The hybrid system is beyond flexible for students at WHS. Students are divided by separate cohorts where a class of 20 students turns into 10 in-school while the rest stare at the same classroom through a computer screen. Now that students are becoming more comfortable with the system, many are finding ways to cut-corners or spare the extra positive cases in the educational pool. 

Students are granted the ability to stay home from school and still be present in class. Say the student was supposed to be in-school for that day and missed their alarm, now they can simply sign onto Zoom and be marked present for the class. Of course, that’s not always the case…

WHS faculty has posed their own takes on students’ presences in and out of the classroom. Mrs. Woznicki claims, “Most students get much more from in-person learning and by skipping their in person days (other than for health reasons) they are losing out on the personal / friend connections. There is NO substitute for that.” Schools like Waterford High School are lucky to even be in-person as of right now as cases continue to spike in our area. Each student is different in regards to preference in learning… for example, some students work more efficiently via online learning and others prefer face-to-face contact and a classroom environment in order to learn effectively. No matter the preference, students are still expected to abide by the rules and regulations of their specified Cohort, whether it’s a hybrid schedule or full online. 

Some students from the hybrid cohorts have been finding ways to weasel out from the classroom without question. English teacher, Mr. Silvestri states, “I’ve had a class with ONE kid in the classroom, and like 14 on a Zoom. It’s super awkward for everyone involved. It also completely messes up planning for small group assignments and projects.” Those situations are certainly frustrating and inconvenient for both the students and teacher for each class. In the data collected from over 150 students, less than half (48%) of the students surveyed had missed class due to possible exposure and/or sickness, Covid-related or not. 23% of the students surveyed missed classes due to unexcused reasons like doctor’s appointments, personal responsibilities, sleeping in, or simply just skipping class. “Someday you’re going to wish that all you had to do was get up and go to high school, so come to school while you still can,” says Mr. Silvestri,  “we all know that in-person learning is more effective, so if you choose to Zoom in on days that you should be in the classroom, you’re only cheating yourself.”

This current situation of battling a global pandemic while attempting to give an effective education for students is an unexpected fight that teachers and faculty have to deal with. Everyone is affected differently, but that doesn’t mean students can’t do their part either. By catching an extra hour of sleep, skipping class to go hang out with friends, or to do something other than attending your biology class, it only makes it harder for you, your teacher, and your peers.