The Differences in Online Learning Between Grade Levels

Maisie Jesse, Staff Writer

One of the biggest changes since COVID-19 hit the US is the transition to online school. From the schedule, the classes, and the amount of work, there are many differences between each school and grade level. 

OHS adopted the block schedule for online learning, which consists of three classes a day, for two hours each. Many students think this schedule makes the classes too long.

“The block schedule makes the classes drag on and it becomes hard to focus,” said Maya Kitna, junior. 

One of our feeder schools, Hillcrest, has come up with a similar schedule.

“I enjoy having the block schedule because I can dive deeper into the content,” said Julie Rzemien, eighth grade social studies teacher. 

The schedule is similar between middle and high school, but is completely different in elementary school. At Las Brisas, fifth grade classes consist of short 15-30 minute Zoom calls for each class, with up to two hours of asynchronous learning time in between.

“It is easy to focus during Zoom, but hard to get work done in between,” said Payton Fitzmaurice, fifth grader. 

Although there is a difference in schedules, students from all levels say they are being assigned more work compared to in-person school.

 “I feel like I am doing more work because the teachers think they have to fill the full two hours,” Kitna said.“We have a lot of work to do in between Zooms, more than when we are in school.” 

Although some students find the 2 hour classes a little too long, many teachers feel that they are able to get more done and go further in depth with their lessons. They are able to have class discussions, go over more notes and have more time to overall help their students be successful. But being able to go more depth, may also mean more homework depending on the teacher and subject. 

“As teachers, we were told to assign one or two assignments per class period; some assignments are big and some are small. It all depends on the teacher and how they interpret the direction,” Rzemien said. 

No matter how old you are, online learning presents it’s own set of challenges that have to be navigated. The good news is that we are all in this together.