October 8, 2020
We’ve all been wondering the same million-dollar question since we heard that school was going to be fully online: when are we going back?
“Honestly, the answer all depends on King Country Public Health and the number of infections per hundred thousand people,” Principal Sean Martin said. “It’s been going in the right direction. Not very quickly, but it’s going in the right direction.”
The current plan is for students to be brought back in phases, starting with our Learning Resource Center 2 students. After the students with the most need for school structure have successfully come back in person, kindergarteners and elementary students are next. This phasing will eventually make its way up the grade levels, but the earliest that Liberty students could go back would be around the end of January to early February.
But there is another factor that could possibly affect this date.
“One thing we’re really worried about is flu season,” Martin said. “Even with this virus’s numbers going in the right direction, every year, right around mid-October up until the end of January, people get sick. This can be dangerous because it makes COVID worse; that’s what we’re hearing.”
But in hopes that we do go back eventually this school year, our schedules will be a lot different than what we’re used to.
“We would have to figure out a way to break up the total number of people here and have them run the whole schedule. But on the days that people are here, they would go to class, and on the days they’re not here, they would be watching the same teachers remotely,” Martin said.
It’s a bit more complicated than that, though. This all depends on how many people King County Public Health will allow in the building at one time. And the smaller that number is, the harder it will be to find an effective way to split up students attending classes at Liberty.
And of course, the future of online school is also being discussed for Liberty. With feedback from student surveys and teachers, the clear demand is a better balance of teaching in class and the amount of homework given.
“We need to find a balance between getting the learning in so you get all the content you need, but at the same time we want you to sleep and we want you to be healthy,” Martin said. “There’s been an adjustment period and from my point of view, homework has been really heavy the first several weeks.”
While there is no current plan in place to address this, the administrative staff is working with teachers to reach this balance that most of us need.
In light of how things have progressed so far, it’s fair to say that this year is going to have a long adjustment period. From teachers to students to even our parents, we’re all still learning how our online system will work and it’s going to take time.
So, the next time you log in to your Zoom classes, remember that we’re all in this together. After all, this may not be the school year we expected, but it certainly has its perks and plights.