Online School and Social Distancing: The New Norm

Samantha Nordstrom, Author

Due to the global pandemic of COVID19, the Governor of Texas decided to officially close all schools in Montgomery County on Wednesday, Mar. 11. Shortly after Spring Break, all schools converted to online learning and have no intentions of returning to a physical classroom until at the earliest May 4.

“Life has changed in hurtful ways, but it’s also proven adaptability,” freshman Shelby Garner said. “It’s sad not being able to have social or physical activities, but this pandemic has proven that we can adapt and conquer to a different way of life.”

The Coronavirus outbreak began on Dec. 31, 2019, when the Chinese government began reporting and treating cases of an unknown disease with pneumonia-like symptoms. The newly discovered virus quickly spread across the globe, and the first case in the US was reported on Jan. 11 in Washington State.

“Knock on hardwood, but none of my family has been affected by the virus,” junior Rachel Denner said. “Some of my parents’ bosses and co-workers have been infected. The only word to describe it is unreal.”

In order to finish the school year, MHS has converted all its courses to online learning. Teachers provide video lessons and assignments through sites such as Google Classroom or their own personal websites. Students have varying opinions on new online learning.

“Personally, I don’t like online learning,” sophomore Cameron Harper said. “I feel bad for my teachers because I’m constantly emailing them with questions, and I like the classroom setting more.”

AP and Dual Credit courses follow the policies of College Board and Lone Star College. Dual Credit courses are remaining online through Lone Star’s online portal and tentatively will resume classes on April 13. Rather than being cancelled, AP exams are being modified so that AP students may take the exam at home. Exam dates depend on the AP course.

“Doing an AP online course is different than learning at school because we aren’t constantly learning the material,” junior Abbey Binns said. “I’m upset about the modified test because it’s only written responses, and I’m not very good at writing.”

In order to slow the spread of the virus, all citizens are required to practice social distancing, which means avoiding large gatherings and staying at least 6 feet from other people. Since social distancing has taken effect, nobody is allowed to leave their homes unless if it’s for a necessary task, such as grocery shopping. No one is allowed to visit family or friends, and gatherings of 10 or more people have been banned.

“This pandemic has honestly made me appreciate the little moments I’ve had when I’m with my friends and family more,” Denner said. “I took those for granted and now I just wish I could have them back.”