Face-to-Face can’t be beat

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With coronavirus cases in Florida and every other part of the United States, students faced with the question of whether to return to school brick and mortar or continue their learning online.  

Despite the original decision of doing the first four weeks of school online, the district has instead opted to do the first week of school online, and the rest of the semester will be in person, unless students chose otherwise. Myself and many others have chosen to take the risk, and return to campus. 

Many students have been quarantined in their houses for months, contact with friends and family being limited. Going to school face-to-face will allow for them to socialize with their friends past the cell phone screen, in a safe manner. When in a classroom, students are able to actively engage with one another as well as the teacher. At home, students will just sit and stare at their computer all day. 

To combat the concerns for proper social distancing, masks are mandatory while on campus and there are rules in place to socially distance in the halls, such as making sure you exit to the right of classrooms and having a clear south and north movement in the halls. On top of that, most classroom desks are socially distanced, along with the seats in the cafeteria. Seating charts will be made for every class, so if there is a case, then contact tracing can happen to alert those who could’ve been in contact with the virus. Contact between students and teachers will also be limited. 

Forcing all students to do e-learning ignores the students with limited access to technology or those with household environments that make it difficult to focus during class. With a bad environment and unstable internet connection, students are at a disadvantage compared to their peers. At Hillsborough High School alone, the school gave out an estimated 400 laptops to students who needed them. At the end of summer they received approximately 200 of those laptops back, before redistributing them back out at the start of this year.  

Face-to-face learning isn’t as daunting as it’s being made out to be. With the school following guidelines on how to keep halls and classes as socially distant as possible and mandatory masks, brick and mortar is the best way back; it doesn’t dismiss students with technological issues and allows students to ensure that they’re being actively engaged during class.