Adjusting to the new 100% online model


Muskan Basnet

Muskan Basnet working on homework while 100 percent online, weeks before switching to 100 percent in person learning.

Paris Fietsam, Social Media Manager

On Jan. 29, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill that gave parents the option to choose between 100 percent in-person learning or virtual. In response to this, PV removed the hybrid option.

PV has not had a normal year since the start of the pandemic last March. Remote learning became the new reality for the remainder of the 2019-2020 year. For the 2020-2021 school year, the district offered both hybrid and virtual learning models.

With the new legislation, however, the district once again had to adapt its learning methods to meet the guidelines set by the state. 

While many students are going back to school 100 percent, some are choosing to stay completely online. However, after Feb. 16 — the date that students return in-person — the online schedule will be structured differently. Pleasant Valley administration announced that students will need to join a Google Meet for every period, in lieu of being present in the classroom. 

This is an adjustment to the old model, where these calls were not required. 

Some students continuing school all online are unsure of what to make of the new schedule. Senior Aditi Nachnani is expecting a big change to her routine once the new model starts. “My schedule will be a lot more packed than earlier,” she explained. “Before, many of my classes didn’t stream the lectures or only streamed twice a week. And many teachers kept it optional, so naturally, I didn’t attend some.”

While many online students struggled with grades last semester, it is unknown how this change will affect them. Nachnani believes that this new learning model could be better for her grades. “Even though my grades were fine prior to the implementation of the new learning model, I think that being forced to attend all of the classes will help me retain the information more,” she stated.

Junior Gretchen Highberger is also nervous about what this new change entails. “I’m not sure what my schedule is going to look like yet. It’s going to be a change from what I do now,” she shared. “I really like the freedom I’ve had this year to go at my own pace, and I’m concerned that with the new plan, I’ll be sitting through instructions and information that don’t apply to me as an online learner.”  

However, Highberger is trying to maintain a positive outlook on the situation, but has acknowledged some of the negatives she anticipates. 

“I’m trying to keep an open mind because I’ve had worries about the past learning plans and they’ve worked out fine. I’m hoping not all my teachers will require me to livestream every class for the whole period each day, because I can only sit on a screen for a few hours at a time before I start to feel sick,” she stated. 

There is a lot of uncertainty and mixed emotions about the new learning model. While students cannot do anything to change the learning model on their own, many are going into it with  high hopes and are trying to make the best out of the rest of the 2020-21 school year.