Distance Learning fills the void


Lauren Hassell ’22

On March 16, Principal Stafford Thomas Jr. sent a video regarding updates on e-learning to Staples’ students and parents. In the video, Thomas reassured students the program would allow the continuation of their education during the disruption of Staples’ closure.

Staples High School and many other schools around the world have been forced to take up e-Learning, whether students are ready for the transition or not. In the midst of the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak, schools have been urged to close their doors. These closures that may last days, weeks or even months have left many districts resorting to eLearning, a viable solution that enables students to continue their education.

On March 17, Staples began the Distance Learning program that expects teachers to assign work via Schoology or Google Classroom. Principal Stafford Thomas Jr. and many teachers have been exceptionally patient and thorough during the eLearning transition. Teachers have made themselves available over email to answer any pressing questions their students may have about the Distance Learning program. Digital work assigned by teachers allows students to continue their classroom activities and practice self-discipline. Furthermore, on March 18, computers were distributed at Westport Town Hall to ensure all students have the ability to participate in online learning. Without Distance Learning, students would be completely out of sorts when returning to the classroom after the three-week dismissal.

Distance Learning is meant to be organized into a four-hour daily work schedule with about 30 minutes worth of assignments for each course. This daily schedule successfully neutralizes the damaging effect of being out of the classroom for long periods of time. Working on one’s own time additionally helps students develop their self-motivation skills because students will not have a teacher present to encourage their work’s completion.

Despite the clear benefits that Distance Learning offers, students may argue that it is “busy work” or takes up too much time at home. However, working on class assignments draws students away from unproductive habits like endlessly scrolling through social media or watching Netflix for hours a day. Constant education is essential for teenage development and eLearning serves as the perfect vehicle to enable daily learning.