Adjusting to school from home: the impacts of online learning throughout district

High+School+junior+Paola+Hernandez%2C+does+her+IB+English+class+work+on+her+school+issued+iPad.+Coppell+ISD+campuses+are+closed+through+at+least+May+4+due+to+COVID-19.+Courtesy+photo+Paola+Hernandez.

Photo courtesy Paola Hernandez

High School junior Paola Hernandez, does her IB English class work on her school issued iPad. Coppell ISD campuses are closed through at least May 4 due to COVID-19. Courtesy photo Paola Hernandez.

By Sapna Amin, Coppell High School

Bedrooms have been substituted for classrooms, parents’ cooking serves as cafeteria food and siblings have become friends.

Due to the coronavirus, Coppell ISD began distance learning on March 23. The most recent district wide update has pushed the return to school date to May 4.

CISD has adjusted to this drastic change and continuously updates the district on any changes. Coppell administration and faculty emphasizes the need to be there for one another as a support system.

“The change was drastic, I had to hone in on the skills that are most crucial to learn right now and abandon the idea that we could get through a whole novel like normal,” Coppell High School IB English teacher Stephanie Spaete said.

Now that students are given a more flexible schedule to organize their classes better, they find extra time on their hands.

“The schedule can be made to fit teenage sleep patterns that, in our house, have resulted in more productivity,” CHS parent Jennifer Newton said.

The district is taking action to ensure that students continue learning. It is doing whatever it can to make adjusting as smooth as possible, which is resonating well with many people.

“I see online learning as a necessary method of delivering curriculum,” Newton said. “It’s a temporary situation and I believe our district and leadership is doing what is best for the majority of our students in a world-wide situation that they can’t control.”

The district is using a pass or fail system rather than numerical grades.The district acknowledges that many students have other responsibilities, so this system gives incentive for the students to continue being productive.

“As an observer, I feel like my friends are having a harder time adjusting to doing online school, but it’s a gradual process so they will eventually be able to cope,” CHS Senior Scholar Priya Lalloobhai said.

Senior Scholar is a dual credit program where CHS students take half of their classes through North Lake Community College, online or in person.

Due to the disconnect between interaction, students’ motivation to ask questions has been hindered.

“Online school is vastly different from our normal school because you lose the personal interaction,” Spaete said. “I miss seeing my learners everyday and hearing their discussions.”

Parents are now able to have the opportunity to monitor what school is like for their students on a regular basis. They have become more involved in their children’s academic lives and are able to make sure they are being productive.

“Since my children are learning from home, I am more available to help answer questions in areas that I know,” Newton said. “They are trouble shooting all of their own technology issues and completing their work mostly on their own.”

Many students have more free time which they spend doing various leisure activities.

“I just do the assignments how I would normally be doing them,” Lalloobhai said. “I’m able to sleep in more and it’s gotten me to be more lazy.”

For students that have taken dual credit courses online, the adjustment has been easier because they can pull from past experience.

“Since I was already taking my courses online for dual credit, the coronavirus didn’t affect my learning that much,” Lalloobhai said. “It would be easier for the students to transition into doing classes online if they were already doing dual credit or senior scholar.”

Teachers are carrying out their lesson plan that has been established and stay on track. This gives many students more time to process the concepts and learn material instead of memorizing it for tests or quizzes.

“Even though it was unexpected, it wasn’t a setback,”Spaete said. “There is a lot we can learn from ourselves during this time, such as how we handle tough situations and how to function outside of our normal routine.”

Parents have been adjusting to the change alongside their children.

“As a parent, I have found that kids emulate what their parents feel, do, and say,” Newton said. “I want to be a model for them in a time of crisis as well as make them aware of what is happening in the world so they know how lucky they are to be where they are.”

Many have been striving to stay positive despite the situation. With the investment made in devices, students have been able to acclimate to online learning.

“We will recover day by day. Tomorrow will be different,” Spaete said. “We may not know what that means, but it brings forth new opportunities. We have all been challenged. Flexibility and patience will be vital.”

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on April 10, 2020.