E-Learning: Positive or Negative?

It is official: NY public schools are closed for the rest of the year. But, student learning is still far from over, so it is important to take a deep dive into our e-learning system. Is it positive or negative??

By Amanda Anikstein

When the Byram Hills School District closed in mid-March, uncertainty began to arise throughout our community. Though, one question kept popping up in any topic of conversation: how will Byram Hills go about online school? 

Immediately, Byram Hills High School announced that teachers would be giving their students weekly assignments. This meant that we would not be on Zoom, GoogleMeet, or learning face to face (or screen to screen) with our teachers for the entire day. This took most students aback; Byram Hills High School students are used to a tight knit schedule, not a loosely graded curriculum. 

A “loosely graded curriculum” is how most students would describe the current system. As of right now, high school students are being graded on a below, meets, or exceeds scale. In the beginning, students were “thankful that the system was rather lenient in order to allow the students to adjust to our new reality” says Junior Sam Lubcher. This new scale does not give Byram Hills students the pressure to “exceed” in every assignment if they do not have the resources or do not understand the task. Instead, it allows students to adjust to this new reality while maintaining a rather relaxed school schedule.

But, the majority of high school students aren’t too excited about the new grading system. At Byram Hills High School, students work extremely hard to maintain a high GPA and to overall just do well within each class. Freshman Lindsay Miller says, “it’s a little frustrating because I have been working really hard all year to maintain good grades and now that it’s pass-fail I could potentially be graded the same way as the students who work significantly less hard.” This is the reality, as also, students at Byram Hills may not always be using academic integrity during the E-Learning process which further annoys certain students who are trying their best.  

Students also have opinions on how to improve the E-Learning process. Sophomore Chloe Siegle says “that the third quarter should be letter grades but the students are able to drop their lowest grade from that quarter.” Personally, I agree with Chloe’s idea about third quarter grades. As a junior, I will be applying to college next year and my GPA will be a very important aspect throughout the college process. Students at Byram Hills put in so much effort into every assignment and it would be a shame to see those grades disappear. 

Students and parents of the Byram Hills High School all have different opinions on grades and E-Learning. Some believe that this is the perfect strategy, but others believe that this way of learning is undermining students. So, how will Byram Hills proceed to go about E-Learning?