Photo by Charlotte Armstrong '21
Samira Saad ’21 rises out of bed at 9:00 a.m. and after a languid breakfast, she opens her laptop to Schoology. Over the next few hours, she rotates between typing up work and taking pictures of her notes. At 2:00 p.m., she retires her schoolwork and has the rest of her day open.
Saad’s routine for Distance Learning differs greatly from her regular school day at Staples High School. Students started Distance Learning on March 17 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and recently completed their first week.
“While I really commemorate teachers for working on the fly and being contactable at nearly any hour,” Dominik Kulis ’21 said, “I feel bad for my classmates because they’ve had more work in the past one to two days than they have had in an entire week of school.”
Teachers assign students schoolwork through platforms such as Schoology, Google Classroom and Khan Academy. Students are expected to submit their work electronically.
“In Distance Learning, we’re looking at about four hours a day,” Principal Thomas said in a video emailed to the Staples community.
Workload varies for each class; some classes have daily assignments while other classes have work due at the end of the week. However, a few students feel that the workload is unfair.
“I think that some teachers are taking this as an opportunity to overload students with work, especially if a class is behind,” Saad ’21 said. “This is really upsetting seeing as this can be a really stressful time for students.”
The guidance department did notify students that they are available from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. through a Google form for concerns or questions.
Other students and teachers miss the social aspect of school.
“I greatly miss the students,” math teacher John Wetzel said. “They keep me young, keep me thinking, keep me smiling.”
School sports and activities have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Most extracurricular activities are cancelled as well. The Westport Weston Health Department is currently advising social distancing or isolation.
Staples will continue with Distance Learning until at least April 20.