Perspectives on in-person learning
October 22, 2020
After attending classes at home for roughly a month now, students at RM have mixed feelings on the virtual schooling process.
“I am very glad to see that efforts have been made to discuss the issue in collaboration with [local teacher] unions,” said junior Isabela Santos. “It is so important that when considering the guidelines and criteria for when it is safe for some students to return to school, teachers are involved, as they are the ones who will be interacting with hundreds of students.”
Junior Zain Ahmad expresses his concerns on returning to in-person learning. “I am glad that MCPS is looking to provide the safest return to school. While I understand the necessity for some students to be back in school as soon as possible, I do question whether a return to school is justifiable given the current circumstances. I’m worried that a return back would fuel a second [coronavirus] wave we’re trying to avoid,” said Ahmad.
Junior Hannah Phillips hopes that students can return to school buildings. “Although I do agree that there should be part-time in school learning available to the students that need it, MCPS is going to have to consider the availability of students. Even with everyone’s new and unusual circumstances, we must try our best to get back to normal learning,” said Phillips.
A policy that requires Montgomery County Public Schools to notify the Montgomery County Education Association 45 days prior to their return to in-person learning was signed into effect on Sunday, August 30.
The memorandum emphasizes the importance of the implementation of the safety precautions that students and staff are entailed to follow. It also includes “…guidance and best practices provided by federal, state, and local health officials, as well as industry experts and associations,” the letter states.
Additionally, the agreement clarifies that teachers are not required to teach live instruction for more than 300 minutes (5 hours) per week. Teachers are also provided 450 minutes per week for individual preparation time.
Debates continue regarding the safety of reopening school amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic. “There really is no excuse for not trying to bring kids back [into the classroom,],” said Gov. Larry Hogan during a news conference.