NMUSD Announces Distance Learning Until Further Notice

NMUSD Announces Distance Learning Until Further Notice

Claire Qiu, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, July 29th, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District announced that, due to recent spikes in Covid-19 cases in Orange County, the 2020-2021 school year will begin online until further notice.

This news is a blow to the many CdM students who expressed dislike for virtual distance learning on Trident’s recent poll. Poll results show that over half of the respondents reported that they were “not a fan” of online learning.

“I did not enjoy… some teachers assigning more[assignments]/more strenuous [assignments] than in person school,” writes senior Rachel Ritchie in her response to the poll. Ritchie ranked her enjoyment of distance learning a 3 on the 1-10 scale. “I didn’t learn as well as I learn in school,” adds an anonymous sophomore.

Junior Mikayla Shaffer did not like “the inconsistency between teachers” nor the lack of “organization” during distance learning. However, she concedes, “the teachers were more lenient… about us needing time to adjust to the changes.”

Reports on many news channels and studies done by universities have shown that the caliber of US education is dropping due to virtual learning. According to an article by Johns Hopkins University, exposure to too much blue light, especially in the evening, has a detrimental effect on the human sleep cycle, which in turn affects a student’s ability to concentrate during the day.

Furthermore, an article in the Washington Post pointed out that online learning results in the loss of the social aspect of in-person school, which is important for many developing kids and teenagers. In addition, the process of discussion, of listening to peers explain work, and of having teachers looking at work and pushing ideas, is lost online.

NMUSD has said that if Orange County is removed from the coronavirus watch list, they will move schools to the Level 2 hybrid plan, which they announced Tuesday would not be the previously laid out 4×4 model. Instead, they plan to install a traditional block-day schedule with safety measures.