Westport Public Schools make correct call after transitioning to a temporary fully remote schedule


Photo by Abigail Nevin '23

Westport’s public high school and middle schools recently transitioned to a fully remote learning schedule. The schools are expected to return back to a hybrid model after Thanksgiving break.

The Westport Public Schools (WPS) have now returned again to the hybrid schedule after they were previously online full time for two weeks. The school system made the correct decision after calling the temporary remote schedule just before Thanksgiving break, as it protected students from the increasing cases in Westport and its surrounding towns. 

Although this new and strange school schedule is difficult for many, I believe it was a safe idea for WPS to switch into a fully remote learning schedule for the Thanksgiving holiday, but I do not think we should have come back after the holiday, as cases are still continuously increasing in Connecticut. Personally, I would have waited until after the peak where there would be a significant decrease in cases to return.

As CBS News said, “Under the rollback restrictions, restaurants must revert back to 50% capacity restrictions. They were previously at 75%.” Communities in America have regressed in the progress made during the summertime. School officials must acknowledge that it is extremely unsafe for both students and staff members to return. 

We as a community should make sure that the safest plan is implemented for the wellbeing of everyone. 

However, not all hope is lost for the return of our normal lives. There is a highly effective vaccine for COVID-19 on the way that will be officially developed in coming months. According to Contagion Live, companies such as Pfizer and BioNTech announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to track the status of stage two for their COVID-19 vaccines. Although it will not be given to a majority of the population before 2020 ends, I continue to hope that it will be distributed in the new year of 2021. 

In our community right now, however, I think that WPS should continue the full online schedule up until at least January 2021. We as a community should make sure that the safest plan is implemented for the wellbeing of everyone. 

From a student’s perspective, the shutting down of school and sports all over again is incredibly frustrating. Especially learning online, I personally seem to get continuously distracted while I am participating in my classes at home. However, I, as well as my other classmates, try our hardest to learn as best we can with what we are given. No matter how difficult the online learning process is, I maintain the idea that our school system should continue to put the wellbeing of our community first, and the desire for normalcy second.