Virtual learning following vacations would minimize quarantine numbers

Many+students+felt+uncomfortable+returning+to+school+after+the+two+week+break%2C+so+they+opted+to+not+attend+in-person+school+for+the+week.+

Image by Alexandra Glickman ’23

Many students felt uncomfortable returning to school after the two week break, so they opted to not attend in-person school for the week.

Alexandra Glickman ’23, Staff Writer

The decision of whether or not I should return to school after a two-week vacation was nerve wracking and worrisome. The chances of coming into contact with someone who may test positive after travelling or attending a large gathering drastically increased. 

For future school vacations, a two week period of all online classes would be extremely beneficial for both the students’ and teachers’ health. This would prevent those who were cautious over the break from having to irrationally quarantine, and the risk of contracting the virus would be smaller.

So, when Sunday night arrived and no email popped into my inbox, it was clear that I would have to be in school, bright and early Monday morning for my 8:00 a.m. class.”

By acting on this issue proactively we can foresee better results in the future after these longer breaks. It is impossible to gain control over everybody’s travel plans and social life, but adding this extra step of precaution could help prevent the growing numbers of people testing positive for COVID.

Throughout the two week span, my friends and I were hoping the superintendent might make a decision for us, declaring that Westport schools go completely virtual for the first two weeks following the winter break. This was not an unfounded hope, as many other towns in close proximity had already decided to do so. 

So, when Sunday night arrived and no email popped into my inbox, it was clear that I would have to be in school, bright and early Monday morning for my 8:00 a.m. class. 

While the school was far from empty, several of my classmates from each class were absent in person, but present online. I began to worry that I had made the wrong decision to come into school, since so many of my peers decided to play it safe by staying at home.

After Tuesday night, four COVID cases were confirmed at Staples and the concern over whether or not attending in-person school was safe rose again. I watched countless students and teachers disappear into quarantine as the number of cases increased. I kept wondering how this could have been minimized and better controlled if we opted to hold virtual learning in the two weeks subsequent to winter break. 

To conclude, the spike in COVID cases after winter break could have been prevented if there was a two-week period of online school, so for future breaks a plan similar to this, is necessary for the safety of students and teachers.