Next Semester at Plano

Administration changes second semester schedule

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Photo by Emma Coleman

Students will spend more time online, whether face-to-face or at-home

Emma Coleman, Opinion Editor

   As the first semester of the 2020-21 school year comes to a close, a new schedule for students and teachers has been created in order to have the most effective learning environment for students in this unpredictable time.

   The administration has decided to take a new approach to schooling next semester, for virtual and face-to-face students. Principal Watkins and other faculty members think that this is the best option for a better learning environment for students and teachers alike.

   “I think it will help kids to create a schedule for themselves, and I think that it will be a bit of relief for everybody,” Principal Watkins said.

   According to administrative staff, there will be four synchronous days from Tuesday to Friday, and Mondays will remain asynchronous. On these days, at-home students will attend class each day, from their computers. Face-to-face learners will remain in their cohorts and come to the school campus on their respective days just as before, but also attend virtual classes from Tuesday to Friday when they are not on campus.

    In addition, when students return to school next semester on Tuesday, January 5, they will remain asynchronous but maintain the given schedule for the rest of the week.

   Teachers are looking forward to having the students all together in a more engaging academic and social environment for students.

   “I believe having a more predictable routine will be comforting for many of our students,” Mrs. Wiechman said, “It will take a bit to get adjusted, but it will be very helpful to the students and teachers.”

   School has been a tough go for students and teachers in districts across the country this year. With a situation as unpredictable as COVID-19, there are mixed feelings and concerns from teachers and students. 

   “I can’t really speak for face-to-face students, but I’m worried that the new set up next semester will be tiring for at-home learners,” junior Julie Phan said. “Most of us have adjusted to the current schedule and I think it’ll be hard to readjust again,” Phan added.

   Although this new school plan does not completely replicate school as it did before COVID-19, students and teachers are anxious to see if it will help in any way, despite any of their concerns.

   “I am optimistic to see if it does end up helping myself and other students,” said Phan. 

   Plano Senior, as well as schools across the country are trying to find the best ways to provide an academically, socially and emotionally engaging environment that will benefit students. Despite the fact that COVID has made it difficult, the administration hopes the new schedule will be beneficial.

   “I think that change can be a challenge, but our students have embraced many challenges this year and I think that they will adjust to this as well. I am very grateful that PISD is continuing to adjust as we are learning how to best serve our students,” said Mrs. Wiechman.