Going back in person will help students succeed

Gabriel Souza, Social Media Manager

After more than six months away from the classrooms, OHS students will finally be coming back on campus. This has been a deeply contested issue among parents and the school board, with some saying it’s too risky to go back. But now that Governor Doug Ducey has reopened restaurants, gyms, and even movie theaters, schools should reopen too. Virtual learning has caused a significant change in the lives of students and teachers, and going back in-person will help students be successful with their studies.

When students head back to the classrooms, it will be required that every person wear a face mask; the school district is even going to the point of not allowing any neck gaiters or bandanas due to their ineffectiveness. The desks will be sanitized between each class period and to prevent crowded hallways, they will all become one-way only. The school is taking many precautions so that classes can resume, and this is because they know that going back in-person will make learning easier for many students.

Although some would say that learning virtually has been easier for themselves, most students would disagree. There have been a multitude of technical issues, and students aren’t able to interact with each other. Going back in-person would mean that students wouldn’t have to sit in one spot, staring at a computer screen for hours on end each day. Sitting motionless for so long can also have damaging effects on the health of many kids. Many kids get agonizing headaches from staring at the screens for so long each day.

Virtual learning has had the biggest impact on the youngest students, with many starting off their first year of education at home on a computer. It is remarkably difficult for students to learn the alphabet, or the basics of math at home and by themselves. How do teachers teach to keep your hands to yourselves when there’s no other kids anywhere nearby?

Also, many students are missing out on a key aspect of school: socialization. With kids stuck at home, many aren’t able to interact with other kids their own age. This can be especially difficult for students that have no siblings, or no sibling close in age. This is leading to an increase in mental health related illnesses. Going back to school in person, will help students socialize and keep them well balanced mentally.

When schools do reopen, it should be the priority of the community and state to keep them open. It is more important to keep students learning at their fullest capabilities, than to let people go out to movie theatres and gyms. Although this may affect the short-term economy, the education of hundreds of thousands of students will have a greater impact on it later on. The future will need more highly educated workers than ever before, and with some younger students missing out on so much crucial learning, it may have drastic consequences that we may not realize at this moment.

Going back to school in-person will be the greatest relief for students, parents, and teachers alike, who have all struggled with the great changes that this pandemic has brought. Hopefully it is not too late to get learning back on track. Unlike virtual learning, learning in person won’t just be busy work, but actual purposeful learning. Students will get the education that each of them deserve once more.