It has nearly been one full year since schools shut down and students moved to online learning because of COVID-19. However, Jefferson County is making plans to move forward and send students back to 100% all in-person learning at the beginning of April.
On February 26, Jefferson County put out their first letter providing information on a return to all in-person learning as early as March 15. Students will return to 100% in-person learning on April 5. Students will be given the option to go back into school full time or the option to learn from home.
When expressing his thoughts on fully returning back to in-person learning, A-West sophomore Ethan Cook says, “I think it’s good they are trying to get everyone to return but there’s going to be a lot of confusion the first couple weeks.”
Cook, along with many other students across the county, share the same mixed emotions about returning to all in-person learning.
“I’m not really sure how I feel about it yet. It’s nice to know that we are getting closer to things getting back to normal though. And I’m glad that we have the opportunity to go back into all in person as well,” says A-West sophomore Ivy Vicory.
Although some students are still unsure about Jeffco’s plan to send students back full-time, this whole topic gives them the opportunity to reflect back on what it was like to receive an education during a global pandemic.
“It was unorganized and teachers don’t know what to do at first, now they have it figured out. I was just doing whatever they told me because it was a new thing for everyone,” Cook explains as he reflects on his experiences.
When asked about her experience during online learning, Vicory says, “When we started back in March I was excited at first because we had no school and we didn’t have to go to zoom classes or anything. But as we got further and further into the year it started getting way worse and it got harder to stay motivated. Especially this year.”
This past year has also been a struggle for most students academically as grade point averages across the state dropped drastically because of the challenges that are brought up due to online learning.
“My grades weren’t the best this past year. They definitely would have been better if I was all in person. If I could do it over again, I’d try to pay attention at the start more like I do now and not lay in my bed and do work,” says Cook as he describes what his grades were like this past year.
The cause for this decline in GPA’s is not all to blame on the students though. Because of the new nature of learning during a global pandemic, it was new not only for the students but for the county and the teachers as well.
When asked what he thought Jeffco could have done better, Cook says, “Get a plan and stick with it cause there kinda all over the place with when to return and how to do it.”
On the other hand, Vicory says, “I think if they would have let us stay asynchronous like they let us do at the end of last year, the entire school district would be in a better place right now.”
With April 5th just around the corner though, Jeffco students look to take a step in the right direction back to normality and put online learning in their rearview mirror.