Learning preferences change with new marking period



Students discuss opting out of hyrbid learning due to health concerns and to gain a better focus on their studies. https://unsplash.com/license

Jacqueline Litowinsky

When junior Francesca Santaniello of Tinton Falls participated in hybrid learning at the beginning of the year, the learning format proved to be more difficult than beneficial for her.

“I feel like I’m at my best when I’m comfortable, and being at school in a mask all day was not an ideal situation for me,” Santaniello said. “I was always exhausted the days I would go into school, and overall I feel like I’m more productive at home.”

Like Santaniello, freshman Millana Young of Ocean also made the decision to switch from hybrid to fully virtual this year.

As a first-year student, she wanted to get to know her new classmates and experience some of the full CHS experience. Ultimately, health concerns led her family to make the switch.

“While nothing compares to a full-time schedule, I think being in-person benefited my learning in that it got me back into the school mindset,” Young said. “However, my father had a surgery scheduled for late October, and my parents quickly realized having me coming in and out of the house so frequently wouldn’t be safe for him post-op. My parents didn’t deem it worth the risk.”

On the other hand, some CHS students moved from all virtual to hybrid for the second semester of the school year.

Sophomore Emily Widmer of Freehold said that attending school in-person has helped her feel more motivated to learn.

“I’ve found that it’s harder to learn virtually,” Widmer said. “I’m less motivated to do my work at home versus when I’m in school, and I want to get the ‘hands-on’ school experience again. I’d rather keep learning in school than stare at a screen.”

For the most part, students that have switched learning formats are all seeking a return to normalcy.

Junior Riley O’Brien of Neptune, who went from hybrid to all-virtual for the new semester, hopes that she’ll be able to return to school next marking period.

“I really hope that I’m able to go back to school next marking period because I want to end the year in school,” O’Brien said. “I’ve realized that I don’t have that much time left at CHS, and I really want to make the most of the little time I have left here.”