It’s officially the second semester and the Arlington School District has adapted in many ways, especially when it comes to the different plans for learning and our learning options. Most students are in the six class distance learning than planning to go into hybrid mode, some students are able to attend the school in a safe manner meaning on campus in connectivity pods. Others have opted for the Arlington Online Program (AOP). Then there are those who are able to go entirely in person at private school.
This leads me into a distance learning option and for the students who are planning to come back into a hybrid mode.
Currently those who are preparing for hybrid are doing both asynchronous and synchronous learning with three zoom classes per day and guidance from teachers with assignments to complete. As well as Fridays being the day for advisory and having time to complete the assignments given. There are some students though that have struggled due to wifi connection and were offered a spot at the school to work in a distanced layout.
Principal of Arlington high school Duane Fish stated “We extended offers to 150 families to improve access to the internet.” This being said, some students are at the school in learning areas where they are distanced and can have access for their computer. It’s clearly not the same as before.
Junior Issac Quijada Ciraeaz says, “I am at the school using the internet and yes it’s different because you have to be distanced.”
Still there are students who have good connectivity and are successful online and prefer it to the six class zoom plan whether at home or in a connectivity pod. This being said, there is an option for students who want to stay entirely online which is AOP. The Arlington Online Program has come to assist more students than ever. Those that are thriving through online learning and want to continue with it or even those who need a change and go at their own pace have decided for this option.
Senior Sierra McMillian states, “Yes, I am in AOP…It’s mostly self guided learning. For attendance you just have to log in everyday, and there’s no mandatory zoom meetings or schedule to follow. It’s a lot of reading though so if you’d rather have someone read to you this may not be the best option…It’s very different from distance learning since you don’t need a teacher to complete the class and you work at your own rate pretty much… You can still graduate with Arlington High School if you take AOP.”
“AOP has increased, they’re taking several hundred kids where before it was only for high school students and now there are k-12 enrolled.” says Fish.
It’s a student’s decision if they want to come back for the hybrid plan or not but if a student wants to stay online Fish goes on to explain that teachers won’t have time to teach class in school and teach a specific student online. It would be difficult to teach for two days a week and they need the time to plan.
The Stillaguamish Valley Learning Center’s only option for high school students is enrolling them into AOP as well.
“The best learning option is definitely AOP, it’s so much less stressful than working on 6 classes plus advisory at once. I definitely don’t think distanced learning or the hybrid model are effective, especially considering just staying online full time would be better than a confusing half and half.” says Sierra.
Lastly, there is an entirely in person option, the students at the Arlington Christian School have been able to attend and learn at the school.
Arlington Christian School principal Melissa Fagan says, “We are a christian private school with much smaller student body numbers and we are fully in person and not online… Private schools made the choice to open up based on numbers, I hope everyone can open up sooner rather than later.”
She continues to say that there are only 6 high school students currently at the school and because of the school opening the numbers have increased.
“We can have 10 kids in each class due to spacing and the room in the classrooms.” says Fagen.
Some might say that the options for learning are limited, but the school is doing the best they can with what they can work with so for now, the majority of students are stuck to distance learning with a few exceptions.
Fish says, “We just can’t wait for the day that we can come back to school and see you guys in person.”