Déjà Vu: In-Person or Back to Virtual Becomes a Choice Once More

Carla Impoco Duclos, Staff Writer

Montclair High School students stepped back into school this September only to be hit with a new wave of Covid-19 closings in January as the Omicron variant swept through the country. This time the choice to stay in school or go virtual was left to students and caregivers.

To find out what learners believed to best for their individual educational needs, The Mountaineer interviewed students at Montclair High School in October to see if they were excited to be back in school or if they would rather go back home and to remote learning again. How could we know then, that many would be back home in a few short months?

Grant Skule, a freshman at Montclair high school said he believes he learns better in person. “I feel like I learn better in school. Online school was tough and put you in a daily slump. I felt like it was an average 9-5 job,” Skule said. “It was really depressing, and it’s nice to see everyone back. I personally like in person better even though there are some aspects that I don’t like about in-person school, but I think it’s best for everyone to be back.”

While some people are glad to be back, ninth-grader Carl Scheckel said he would rather be back home because he feels that it was more flexible and he “[got] to wake up later” and “didn’t get lost.”

Opinions were mixed on schooling during the Covid-19, but the majority of students interviewed said they were happy to be back at school.

“I would definitely rather stay in school, just because I miss going on the bus in the mornings, and walking into class every day. Also my teachers get to know me better and I feel more comfortable speaking in class,” ninth-grader Charlotte Andes said.

“In-person school is so much better because when we were doing online school, the large amount of time we were on our screens put us in a slump, also in person school is making me more extroverted,” Diego Bustios, a freshman at Montclair high school stated,” Diego Bustios, a freshman at Montclair High School, said. 

Julia Klein, a freshman at Montclair high school stated,” I like in person school better because I get to see my friends on a daily basis and I’m not stuck inside all day doing things for school where I’m not even learning at all.”

Majority of the Students at Montclair high school can agree that in person school is better than online school.

Students also appear to not remember many things taught last year online, which is one of the reasons why they believe personal school is better.

Students are concerned about the Covid-19 pandemic, but ages 12 and up are eligible to get vaccinated and many are able to get boosted, as well. Students who have been vaccinated said they feel more comfortable going to school in person.

At MHS students must follow Covid-19 guidelines such as, wearing masks, staying three feet apart during class, and sanitizing their hands frequently. This is making the return to school a little bit smoother but has not stopped the influx of Covid cases entirely. As Omicron wanes, the MHS school and staff remains vigilant to ensure everyone has a chance to get back to learning.