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The 2020-21 School Year, on Teens' Terms 

Local high school students talk about the reality of a pandemic school year

Nick Haar, Senior, Summit High School

"During the pandemic, online school has taken the world by storm. I, for one, have been swept well into the white-watery wave of internet learning, though not by choice. I've suffered a lack of motivation and normally I'd get my assignments done by the night before they were due.

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  • Nick Haar

"With that being said, all other aspects of online learning were truly ideal. Online assignments allow for time to be spent more optimally: more on difficult subjects and less on ones I understood. Additionally, they allowed me to plan my own day, without school dictating my schedule from 7:45 to 3:45 every weekday.

Brooke Ludeman, Sophomore, Mountain View High School

Brooke Ludeman - SUBMITTED
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  • Brooke Ludeman

"Last semester all of my teachers were on a different page than me, they were going at a fast pace and no one could keep up. Some teachers were very involved and helped a lot; they always answered emails or via text messages. Others only assigned work but wouldn't follow up as often. Another challenge for me was trying to learn online in general. I am a hands-on, in-person learner which made everything harder to understand. I liked that some of my teachers would give us a weekly schedule and we had the whole week to work on things and every assignment would be due on Friday.

"I do not have a computer to use as my mom is working from home now. I end up sometimes using my iPhone to do work because the iPad doesn't always load correctly. I have two other sisters in my home that were also doing online high school learning which made it a little noisy and hard to work in quietness. I feel like online learning is a detriment to my learning. I did not learn as much as I would have in person at school."

Ashley Hillman, Senior, Bend Senior High School

Ashley Hillman - SUBMITTED
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  • Ashley Hillman

"I have all the resources I need like a quiet place to be, wifi and all the technology I need. Online school has negatively affected my high school experience. It hasn't been as fun because I don't get to go to school every day and see my friends. I'm concerned that I will not be able to learn as much as I would in a normal year and not be prepared for college. I will definitely be less motivated and focused because I will be sitting at my house by myself and I won't be able to look forward to seeing my friends."

India Slodki, Junior, Summit High School

click to enlarge India Slodki - SUBMITTED
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  • India Slodki

"I think that teachers who are unfamiliar with an online interface are going to be a big problem. Last year most of our time was spent on learning new systems rather than learning new content, and I'm expecting to see more of the same next year. 

"I've always seen online learning as a bit of a joke. I have never thought it was a good option or an effective way to learn, and it makes me nervous to know that it may be our only option for a while. Not being able to ask questions or talk things through is a bit nerve wracking. Also, there's something about the energy of a classroom. Makes me excited to learn."

Jackson Junkin, Senior, Cascades Academy of Central Oregon

Jackson Junkin - SUBMITTED
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  • Jackson Junkin

"One of the major disadvantages to online learning is the communication. In a remote learning environment, the ability to communicate quickly and effectively with teachers is diminished substantially which makes assignments more confusing and difficult.

"I feel that remote learning has a negative effect on student social life. Depending on the person this can be catastrophic or insignificant. This is unfortunate because social development is one of the most important facets of high school.

"I believe that I am less motivated and less focused on core school classes. Specifically with the advent of credit/no credit I find myself doing the bare minimum because there is no reason to try."

About The Author

Jess McComb

Jess McComb is an intern at the Source Weekly but she'd like to pretend she's a full time employee. Her current occupation is high school but she prefers the title 'journalist.' Hobbies include: being the best female skier on the Mountain, color coordinating outfits, obsessively working out and bragging about...
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