Number of senior remote learners increases

Olivia Graham

With graduation nearing, a new virus is spreading across the class of 2021. “Senioritis” has kicked in for many, making these final months of school difficult. 

After a recent survey, students chose whether they would stay remote or go back to in-person learning. The number of seniors staying at home increased to 37.3%, but why? According to several students, health concerns and safety weren’t the only things keeping the senior class at home with this second round of blended learning.

“37.3% of the seniors are remote,” principal Andrea Markert said. “I think this is mainly because they like to be at home and be flexible, and don’t want to come to school. Some students are isolating because of COVID concerns, as well.”

Connor Herbert is one of the seniors who chose to return to in-person learning. Herbert said he is disappointed and misses the way school used to feel before the pandemic.

“It’s the little things that make me sad about this year,” Connor Herbert said. “Not seeing the senior couches is weird. It’s one of those small things you look forward to having and unfortunately my class didn’t get it.” 

Senior Harris Carr chose to switch to online school after completing the first couple of months of hybrid learning. His choice to go to e-learning was mainly for social reasons.

“I just really miss how school used to be,” Harris Carr said. “Everyone was together, all your friends were in one place. School was fun, and a place where you could socialize with everyone. Now it’s hard because if I went back I wouldn’t even be able to see all of my friends.” 

Although some seniors made the decision to go to e-learning for social reasons, others said that it just worked better with their schedule, and they enjoyed the flexibility of taking classes at home.

“I chose remote learning because it worked out better with my schedule,” Audrey Trevarthan said. “I have a lot of free periods and an independent study so it made more sense for me to stay at home.”

The numbers of COVID cases are slowing down in the Bloomington-Normal area. The positivity rate in our community is down to 2.7%,  causing our community to maintain hope for some more normalcy. Administration and faculty are doing everything they can to ensure students are following the rules and staying safe during this time. 

“It is just the beginning of February, we still have several months left of school. Who knows what can happen in a couple of weeks’ time,” principal Andrea Markert said. “We are just trying to be as flexible as we can be during this time so that we can make changes as quickly as we are allowed to do so.”

Graduation is on the calendar for May 16. And that seems to be where seniors are turning their sights. 

“There’s nothing to look forward to at school anymore, no fun events or gatherings,” said senior Harris Carr. “At this point, I’m just trying to get my schoolwork done and graduate so I can start the next part of my life in college.”