Locals students have their preferences
After nearly two years of seesawing from in-person to online learning, and back to in-person, students have had to deal with being in the classroom as the Omicron variant raised the risk for everyone of becoming infected with COVID-19.
While the state Department of Education prioritizes keeping students at school, some students say they prefer working at home while others are glad to see and interact with friends each day.
Others have mixed feelings. Camilla McDaniel, a sophomore at Haldane High School, says that while in-person classes allow her to get out of her bedroom and away from the many distractions at home, and see her friends each day, she likes the idea of having optional remote days.
In addition, McDaniel not only attends school during the week; she plays for the varsity basketball team and for an AAU team, the Lightning Hearts.
“With going to school every day and sports after, there’s not a lot of time to do my work,” she said. “I feel like being online would allow me to have more time.”
Sarah Uzelac has two teenagers who attend Beacon High School — a son who is a freshman and a daughter in the 12th grade.
Her son “loves remote school” and “misses being able to do the assignment at his own pace and check in and out of the class on his own,” she said. Her daughter performed well working remotely but “didn’t like it at all. She felt like she wasn’t getting as much understanding of the material as she was when she’s in-person, so she really wanted to get back into the classroom.”
Despite feeling a “little scared” during the Omicron surge “because schools may not be the safest place,” Arjun Bagaria, who lives in Garrison and attends the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, did not like being isolated at home when the school held classes remotely. He commutes by train on weekdays, leaving at 7 a.m. and returning home at 7 p.m.
“I just like to get out of my house and learn with my friends,” said Bagaria.
Megan Hopkins, a Garrison resident who attends the Hackley School in Tarrytown, said that although her school allows “online days” when students can go remote by choice, “we’ve been testing more and more and we’re getting fewer and fewer people who are positive. So, it’s getting a lot better, and I feel much safer.”