In-Person learning is essential for educational, emotional needs

Emma Gramm, Feature Editor

Although schools are opening up or are in partial closure, not all students are actually returning. The decision of opting in or out of school has led many to take the path of least resistance. Students need to prioritize their education and mental well-being and take the opportunity to return to school. 

Every day we hear about this deadly virus, but how many of these deaths are actually teenagers? According to the American Council on Science and Health, the fatality rate of adolescents under the age is 0.00032 percent, mostly due to pre-existing health conditions. As we observe the virus’s death toll, teens are simply not the ones that are severely affected out of the overwhelming majority. 

Even The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advocating for the reopening of schools across the country. It is crucial for a student’s social and emotional needs to go back and have the necessary interaction with teachers and peers. If CDC guidelines are enforced correctly, school can be a safe space.

Ultimately, us students are not getting the proper education that they could be. Being away from school for an extended amount of time only damages one’s learning ability. After reworking and condensing the regular curriculum to be online, much of the information retained in school is lost. 

With so much of our curriculum having to be refined or cut out for an online way of learning, there is undoubtedly a loss of education: from the start of the 2019-20 school year to the beginning of this school year, reveals that students will lose about 70 percent of their knowledge from reading and 50 percent from math, instead of the regular 25-50 percent, over summer break. 

In reality, your household will likely not be a sufficient work environment and it should not have to be. It is much harder for students to stay focused and many may not have the resources to do so; the 9 million children across the country with inadequate Internet access in their household are left with nothing. Navigating these new learning tools is a struggle to many families and applies more stress. 

Something else extremely important for a student’s success is their mental health; with the public health crisis and social isolation, this is compromised. School plays a huge part in an individual’s activity and can be a way for teens to escape at-home troubles. These sudden changes can uproot a familiar and safe lifestyle. 

The issue is that many households do include individuals with compromised immune systems and going to school is not something that they can be risked. Fortunately enough, the school has also provided the opportunity for students to either opt in or out of in-person learning. The district has taken extreme precautions to keep students safe and comfortable in these extraordinary circumstances and prioritizing a sanitary environment is one of them. Returning to school for me felt completely safe and distancednot necessarily normal, but safe.  

Illinois, one of the less lenient states in terms of COVID regulation, has made the decision to return to school and provide strict guidelines on social distancing. They have provided over five million face coverings for all teachers and students. The state is doing everything possible to make sure students can return to safe surroundings. 

School closures have undeniably been the root of more harm than good, and remote learning should not be something that we have to deal with much longer. It is important to rethink the option of opting in or out and how this could affect one’s education in the long run. Letting the virus take over take your life only does harm; managing it in a way that is safe for yourself and others around you is the best way to get back to some degree of normalcy.