Upcoming surveys: students express their opinions

The+parent+survey+results+sent+out+September+30+approving+the+hybrid+model+until+January+of+2021.+The+Majority+of+PV+parents+voted+to+have+100+percent+in+the+school+building%2C+but+believed+Because+of+the+increased+cases+of+Covid+-19%2C+hybrid+would+be+the+best+option.+The+student+survey+will+hopefully+be+more+insightful+towards+feelings+and+real+changes+to+the+structure+of+the+school+year.+%0A

Corea Conner

The parent survey results sent out September 30 approving the hybrid model until January of 2021. The Majority of PV parents voted to have 100 percent in the school building, but believed Because of the increased cases of Covid -19, hybrid would be the best option. The student survey will hopefully be more insightful towards feelings and real changes to the structure of the school year.

Corea Conner, Photo Manager

PV is in its sixth week of hybrid schedule. Thus far, it has been a point of contention for many. Students have struggled with adapting to its unstructured and chaotic nature. A board and public decision was made — PV would be continuing hybrid model through January 15, 2021. Regardless of the decision, it was disappointing to find out students were not a part of this decision.

PVHS’ staff says students will soon be surveyed. Yet, this still leaves me wondering why nobody surveyed us at the same time as the parents.

After I expressed the complications students have with the intense and time-consuming workload to associate principal Jason Jones, he stated, “We were saying on your home learning days you should be doing four to six hours of schooling… I would say the caveat with that would be if you are taking an honors or an AP.”

I explained how students are learning material on their own, which would not be indignant if the education system taught students to be more independent, but in fact, it does the opposite. So even if we may be taking college, AP or honors classes at the high school, how do we manage 7 of these classes with this model? Could it actually be easier going all online?

These past weeks I have worked non-stop — including on weekends. Not only do we rarely see our friends because of COVID-19, but we feel isolated from the world because of the immense amount of work we are doing. This is taking a huge hit on student mental health. Not to mention all the effort students are putting forth on homework is not conveying in our test grades, with more students failing this year than ever before.

I acknowledge our parents and guardians make the final decision for most students, but it remains important for students to be allowed to express their opinions about the choices being made for them. After all, the decisions are about students’ education and if the model is not working for students, it needs to be addressed.

Senior Anna Thorne communicated her feelings towards the hybrid model. “I still don’t love it but it is better than the alternative to fully online. I don’t learn well online at all, so having some in person is better,” Thorne said. She also stated, “I would’ve liked to have been given a survey as to how students feel with everything and how they feel things can improve.” For someone devoted to school as much as Thorne is, she can look forward to being surveyed in the near future.

I think we all want to know that surveys will insight real change. “The students’ voice is very important to us,” Jones said.

Students are able to switch to remote learning anytime they feel it best, though they are not allowed to reverse this decision until the end of the semester because of the push by staff to “maximize spaces.” In high school some students are struggling with the decision whether to stay in hybrid or be all online — students do not want to make the wrong choice.

Unlike Thorne, senior Alex Hurtado has had a different experience with this school year: after the increase in cases at the school and the unknowns of exposure, Hurtado switched from hybrid cohort B to 100 percent online. “Going from hybrid to 100 percent online was hard at the beginning but now I like it a lot. It’s a lot of time management and organization but I feel we have more time to do assignments than hybrid,” Hurtado said. I asked Hurtado if there were things that could improve for the online students. “I’ve noticed that certain teachers are more proficient online than others,” Hurtado explained. Perhaps the school board should set the guidelines for teachers to follow and give them the proper equipment and support so they can succeed.”

In the next few weeks Pleasant Valley’s administration will be sending out a survey to students about their experiences regarding this year. Hopefully these questions will be open-response. Students need to be able express their concerns thoroughly, honestly and specifically.

Students of Pleasant Valley, I implore you to take these questions seriously and give constructive feedback. Some people may feel, especially for younger students, the surveys may be a waste of time. If we show we care enough to give feedback, The PV board will hopefully execute our feedback to the best of their abilities. This is our time to tell them how we can do better as a district.