Students Should Consider The Benefits of Traditional Instruction Model


Kelthie Truong

Online classes do not offer social interaction for students who may need it for a better high school experience.

After a year of learners experiencing online school in the hybrid, blended or Irvine Virtual Academy models, IUSD will offer students the opportunity to attend in-person school five days a week for full time traditional instruction in fall 2021, according to principal John Pehrson. Due to exponentially increasing vaccine rates, going to school will be much safer than some may think.  

In California, 6.1 million students have been out of full-time in-person school since March 2020, according to the Los Angeles Times. This statistic is fear inducing but inevitable due to the COVID-19 risks present last year, but should we have to repeat this unconnected experience again if it is no longer required?

Every school program would benefit from going to school five days a week, and then overall school community and culture and social and emotional well being, being around people.””

— John Pehrson, principal

Traditional instruction benefits students in all school programs, especially athletics and VAPA whose program opportunities are especially challenging to replicate in remote learning environments. As hours of  physical instruction decreases, so does student involvement in activities. Theater plays, choir concerts, orchestra concerts, and dance concerts have all been virtual this year. 

“Every school program would benefit from going to school five days a week, and then overall school community and culture and social and emotional well being, being around people,” Pehrson said. “Student activities program, athletics program, definitely VAPA program, they have suffered the most at this point. Just recently they have been able to do that stuff inside. It’s gonna be so great to go back to most of the things we’ve been able to do in the past.”

Along with educational and social benefits, traditional instruction may help students who struggle with remote learning establish a stable day-to-day routine. Online school was a significant change for students, thus dismantling the consistency it provided.  Routine and procedure can motivate and improve mental health, according to Psychology Today. 

“It’s really hard not having the social aspect to school. I get really motivated being with my classmates and working with other people, so it’s a little harder now to be motivated to do my work when I’m working at home and alone, so I definitely prefer in person school better,” IVA sophomore Makayla Leys said. “My screen time has increased significantly, and I’m getting headaches from it every night from being in online school plus phone usage.”

Among 14-17 year olds, those with higher screen use are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

Some may say that going back to school will increase COVID-19 cases as students will be interacting with one another more often. This is faulty reasoning since there will still be precautions to ensure learner safety.

The CDC updated their operation strategies for prevention on March 19, thus creating new guidelines for safety in the state of California.  

The CDC has required three feet of separation between students in classrooms instead of six. So far, smaller class sizes and required face coverings is to be expected, according to Pehrson.

Others may say that hybrid is a perfect blend of online and physical instruction, but hybrid is still more than half of school being online. Students should not continue to experience online school and get used to staying home, further driving schools and students from normalcy. 

Opponents of traditional learning must realize the potential benefits that lie within physically going to school five days a week. Students should reconsider the risks and benefits to decide what is best for them mentally, academically and physically.