Rotten Tomatoes Review: Fully Virtual Half-Days

Rotten Tomatoes Review: Fully Virtual Half-Days

Emma Stokic, News Decoder Ambassodor

     After digesting the turkeys, casseroles, and pies, St. Andrew’s students attended school fully virtually from November 30th to December 4th. 

     “As you are undoubtedly aware, cases of COVID infection and hospitalizations are rising rapidly in the state and across the country. We are heading into a Thanksgiving holiday that could create more opportunities for exposure within our community,” Head of School Tom Sheppard said in an email to the SA community. “When we considered these external factors and a variety of internal factors, we concluded it is in the best interest of the St. Andrew’s community to learn virtually while assessing the impact of the Thanksgiving holiday time away from school.”

     As a pleasant surprise for students, the school also temporarily adjusted to a half-day schedule for the week, with courses ending at noon, to help limit excessive screen time. 

     As the experimental week concluded, students witnessed the positive consequences of shorter virtual classes. Junior Emma Brown, who has been hybrid the whole year, agrees with their proposal. 

     “I really enjoyed having shortened classes this week while being online,” Brown said. “Sometimes being in an online class can be really draining and use all of my energy, but the schedule allows me plenty of free time to complete my assignments and work while still having leisure time. It also allowed me to be on my computer less, opening more time for creative activities.”

     Previously fully in-person attendees have attested that the half-day schedule provided opportunities for other meaningful hobbies.  

     “I absolutely loved this week of online school because of the schedule,” Junior Madelyn Abraham said. “Ending at noon every day allowed me to be more productive and finish my homework sooner. It also gave me a lot more free time to do fun activities like running and painting.”

     Students who have been fully virtual so far, such as Junior James Little, have also felt a positive difference with this temporary schedule.

     “I have more time to do homework because less time is spent in class,” Little said. 

     The results are in from students who attend a variety of school options this year: hybrid, fully in-person, and fully-virtual. Virtual half-days were a fan favorite! Now it’s time to transport back to the reality of full-time classes.