Limitations on school days are beneficial

Jackson Steiner, Staff Writer

The coronavirus pandemic has led schools to adapt to a virtual setting. Consequently, many limitations have been set in place by FCPS, such as a lighter workload and less in-person instruction. However, there are several positive aspects to these limitations, like more time to complete assignments and relieve stress.Limited student-teacher interaction is a noticeable difference between online and traditional school that takes place in the classroom. Less time in an environment with convenient communication to teachers and other students could negatively affect group work performance. However, students now have much more time to turn in assignments. For example, if a student is given an assignment on Friday and it is due next class, then they will have until the following Wednesday to complete it. The extra time students have to complete assignments helps reduce stress, for these unprecedented times can be mentally worrisome. 

Cartoon by Ariana Tackett.

Another limitation set as a result of a new virtual learning environment is the possibility of no more snow days. Even though snow days would offer time for students to decompress, or catch up on school work, the school curriculum has the possibility of falling behind due to snow days. Students already have lots of time off in a virtual setting. Students have Monday to catch up on assignments, as well as several holidays and teacher work days. Having no snow days allows the school to stay on pace and not fall behind in the curriculum.

Another limitation set by FCPS for virtual learning is less homework capacity. AP classes are limited to 75 minutes of homework per week, and base courses are limited to one hour of homework per week. Even though these limits leave students with less practice on a subject, there is plenty of free time for students to catch up on school work. Students have at their disposal office hours, flip flops, and email to get extra practice and help on a subject.

A lighter workload also gives students more time to contribute to a family income by working. Limited workload also allows students to focus on taking care of siblings while parents are working from home. 

The limitations that have been set to accommodate for a virtual learning environment have beneficial aspects. The greater availability of free time and a reduced stress level is just what students need to remain physically and mentally healthy during this pandemic.