More Freedom, More Responsibly

Students Do Their Part During Online Classes

More+Freedom%2C+More+Responsibly

Lucas Loessner

With Salesianum students being online every other day, it’s easy to treat “virtual” days as glorified days-off from school. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and in order to get through this crisis, students must take ownership of their lives and not fall into tempting threats of distraction like social media or a quick nap during online days.

Last March, when the pandemic began and schools transitioned to online learning, the lack of daily structure left students to work on their own. This was much more responsibility and executive functioning and organizational skills than your average teenage high school aged student might be used to. Not to mention social media has become increasingly more difficult to avoid, and is an easy source of escapism, while at home.

“I just felt overwhelmed,” said Sammy Plunket ‘21 referring to the switch to virtual school last spring. “The switch to virtual learning was really difficult for me. I found myself spending too much time on my devices. It’s so much easier to go on my phone and just mindlessly scroll for hours instead of doing schoolwork. Luckily, I still pulled through”

However, Salesianum recognized this and has made changes to online learning to make it easier to stay productive. Students are now in the building two days a week this school year, with the other days being spent online. However, this year brought new rules that require students to be in a class-like setting at home where attendance is taken, in-school rules are enforced, and a dress code is mandatory.

“Higher expectations meant that students had to rise to that challenge. And it meant things like setting a bedtime, like you were going to school, getting out of bed, getting dressed, things like that that are all things you do on a daily basis that shouldn’t be changed based upon the fact that you’re going to be home that day,” said Dr. Reichert, the Director of Educational Technology at Salesianum. “I could not be more impressed… I really mean that both from the teacher side of things and the student side of things, I think teachers and students alike have approached this year knowing what the challenge is, and have knocked it out of the water and really rising not only to; but above that challenge, as far as being engaged with the content.”

Through these changes Salesianum made this year students are now able to take responsibility over their newfound freedom with added support to help them grow in this new reality.