The 2020-2021 school year is gradually changing with updates to help students adapt into online learning. As of last week on September 28, students and teachers will not have live classes on Wednesdays.
These new days are known as “Asynchronous Wednesdays”. This day originally allows for students and teachers to put their full focus on catching up any work.
On September 30, the first Asynchronous Wednesday was implemented and many were pleased with how it went. Prior to the creation of these non-live days, many students were struggling to keep up with the pace of their online courses.
Sanderson freshman Brandon Dejongh loves the concept of not having any live classes saying, “I feel great because I don’t have to deal with any unnecessary breakout rooms, and I can do my work in peace.”
Though it’s no surprise students are excited to have an extra day to focus, teachers are also satisfied with the designated “catch-up” day. Sanderson Civics Teacher Carson Davis says, “Overall I think Asynchronous Wednesdays have been positive for teachers and students. It is nice for teachers to have a day to catch up on grading and planning.”
Senior Margaret Haygood enjoys working independently stating, “I love being able to do stuff on my own instead of stopping my classwork to get on a live video call.”
Even though many teachers and students are content about this new change in schedule, how do they feel about it lasting for the rest of the semester?
On September 29, WCPSS officially announced that students from grades 9-12 will finish off the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year exclusively online.
After the first semester, highschool students will have a second chance to enroll in the Virtual Academy, or if they adopt the ABC plan for the second semester, they will switch to the rotation schedule. The rotation period includes two weeks of online school and one week of physical, in-person learning.
Sanderson apparel and textile teacher Jaconna McCall brings light to the students struggling with adapting to this new change sharing, “I believe some students welcome the asynchronous time to really get caught up, and for those independent students, they do better than the others. There are students that are having a really rough time with remote learning in general, even on live synchronous.” She continues, “It’s all about having a strong support group, mental focus, and trying to do the best you can. It has been a struggle for everyone involved and we are trying to make it work for us.”
This new plan may concern students, teachers, and even parents, especially in the midst of the 2020 CoronaVirus Pandemic that still deeply affects the nation.
Senior Amanee Burwell is in full support of these days saying, “I feel like everyone deserves a break in the middle of the week (from live calls) and I like that it is lasting the rest of the semester. It gives me more time to get work done.”
Forensic Science Teacher Erin Pike gives her thoughts on the new schedule, and the possibility of returning to physical learning sharing, “I really like them (Asynchronous Wednesdays) and I hope we are able to keep them. I think Asynchronous Wednesdays give time for students to get caught up, and it helps the teachers work with students and parents.” She continues, “While I know there will always be a risk of catching COVID-19, I also know the school is planning a lot of protocols before it begins.”
For the most part, the approval of independent Wednesdays resulted in positive feedback. From this day forward, it seems like students and teachers will have an easier time juggling online classes.