As winter break approaches, number of distance learners increases

Prior+to+Thanksgiving+break+190+students+were+fully+distance+learners.+After+the+break+over+176+additional+students+decided+to+go+fully+remote%2C+with+the+numbers+anticipated+to+grow.+

Prior to Thanksgiving break 190 students were fully distance learners. After the break over 176 additional students decided to go fully remote, with the numbers anticipated to grow.

Marina Engler '21, Staff Writer

The number of distance learners at Staples has tripled since the start of the school year with 363 students, roughly 20% of the population, fully remote as of Dec. 7. 125 students were distance learners on the first day of school. 

The number of students deciding to go fully remote is only expected to increase as winter break nears, according to Assistant Principal Patrick Micinilio 

“The number of distance earners has been increasing daily as we get closer to the winter break,” Micinilio said. “Grade-level Assistant Principals and/or counselors have been getting emails from parents on a daily basis requesting that their children get switched to Distance Learners until the holiday break or for the rest of the semester (or beyond).” 

The decrease of in-person students has been apparent to students and staff. 

I have not noticed any change in the way that my teachers have been teaching their classes and hope that we will all be able to go back in person soon.”

— Elana Lundbye '21

“It is totally noticable if you walk into any classroom, hang in the hallway during passing time, or visit the cafeteria during any of the four lunch waves,” Micinillio said. “You will see how the number of students has dwindled.” 

Students alike have also noted the change in school environment this year. 

“It’s definitely been a huge adjustment not being able to see all of my friends in school every day,” Clara Holleman ’21 said, “but I understand and respect everyone who is making the decision to stay home.”

Despite the switch of students from in-person learning to remote learning, teachers did not feel pressed to make drastic changes in instruction . 

“I have not had to change the way I teach my lessons too much because I have already changed and adapted my lessons for this semester,” photography teacher Stacey Phelan said. 

Remote students attest to the fact that though they learn entirely online, they have found the lessons given by teachers to be similar to if they were in school. 

“I’ve been doing online school since Thanksgiving break,” Elana Lundbye ’21 said. “I have not noticed any change in the way that my teachers have been teaching their classes and hope that we will all be able to go back in person soon.”