Sierra is Going Remote

Elie Yates, Editor

Starting on November 30th, the Monday after Thanksgiving Break, Sierra Middle School and Douglas County are going full-time remote. Remote learning will take place from November 30th to January 4th.

On November 12th, Douglas County parents and teachers received an email informing them of the change due to the rising number of COVID 19 cases in Douglas County. The county’s status has changed to a Level Orange as of Friday, November 13th, which means more restrictions for the community and schools. This week is the last week of the current hybrid schedule middle and high schools are following. 

“I think that remote learning is a good idea because, at this point, almost no one can come to school because everyone is quarantined. It doesn’t make sense to keep the school running when only a fourth of the students can come. On the other hand, I don’t think it will make for good learning. I can barely stay on task for a 20-minute google meet depending on what the school decides to do, there is no way I will be able to learn anything doing google meets every day. Also, on a google meet, it is a lot harder to get people to participate and make sure they are doing the right thing,” Marcia O’brien said. 

A lot of changes have to come to students and teachers. Both students and teachers have to adapt to completely online assignments and far less social interaction with others. 

“Being online changes teaching because that common place where we learn (the classroom) is not a physical space any longer.  When we go to online classes, I feel as though I have to be much more deliberate in how I teach while at the same time giving students screen breaks.  In an online classroom, I can’t do as much active, group work as I would like, students can’t be up moving around the room and collaborating with each other while learning new concepts.  I’m trying to figure out how to conduct group work, Socratic seminars, and stations online because these are things both students and myself enjoy.  Another problem with online classrooms is that students are less likely to participate in conversation, discussion, and debate.  I’m hoping that we can overcome that as well.  In the end, we have no choice in where our classrooms are for the final 3 weeks of 2020, but we have complete control over how we make this a positive and productive time. I love teaching and I am happy to teach under any condition,” Jana Coufal said.

Sierra has recently released the school-wide schedule for all the students online. The school day will go from Monday to Thursday starting from 7:40 am and continue until 2:15 pm. Fridays will stay the same as they are right now. Sierra has said that the end of this quarter will be very different from the end of last year, with a stricter schedule than last spring.