Waunakee School’s action plan for the Coronavirus

Waunakee School's action plan for the Coronavirus

Emma Nelson, Reporter

On Friday, March 13, Governor Tony Evers closed all Wisconsin schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden and ambitious action had teachers and students alike scrambling over the extended spring break to get ready for online school. Going to school, for many students, was one of the last things that provided a sense of normalcy in this strange time. Now, the world has seemingly turned upside down as students try to adjust to a new normal, one characterized by Zoom classes and Schoology tests. 

For Waunakee students, there are some benefits to online school. Suddenly trapped at home, they can enjoy sleeping in, working at their own paces and doing work from the comfort of their own beds. 

“[At-home online work] brings a new sense of freedom within our classes that we didn’t have before in the physical classroom,” said junior David Petty. 

Most teachers have formatted their classes in a similar manner: putting out the week’s work on Monday and expecting it done by Friday, or possibly even Sunday. This provides students time to work at their own pace and to break up the work however they see fit.

With this freedom has come more time to do things that students enjoy. 

“[Online school] gives me some time to do other things that I want to do during the day, like going for a run when it’s nice out,” said senior Abi Schmeiser. 

“The schedule is honestly a lot better [compared to when we were in school], as I often lose focus the longer I work. I can work for half a day, and then spend the rest of that day on free time, and I do that for five days a week,” said sophomore Kaj Jensen. 

While it seems that most students like the flexibility of online school, the high school’s decision to go to pass/fail grading has proven more controversial, with many students on the fence about it. 

“I have mixed feelings about the pass fail system,” said Petty. “It does relieve some of the stress put on us, however it doesn’t give us a chance to raise our grades anymore. I suppose it isn’t a horrible system, but it does have its flaws.” 

The online system may not be perfect. Not everyone likes the idea of pass/fail grading, online AP exams or 9 A.M. Zoom lectures. But what the online effort boils down to is an effort to keep the students safe.