Last autumn, Howell High School returned to in-person learning without a COVID-19 vaccine and decided that students would have a multitude of choices; continue online learning, return to school in-person, or a mixture of the two with online classes and college courses incorporated into in-person schedules.
With cases in the Livingston area rising by the day, many students have experienced quarantine due to exposure to positive cases. The entire school was quarantined before Christmas break, where cases were expected to rise over the travel-heavy holiday season. With access to a new set of vaccines, in-person learning could become a viable option for much of the population yet again.
However, for many students in-person learning simply isn’t a safe option. Some students who live with an elderly parent or grandparent risk transmitting the virus to their relatives, regardless of whether they show symptoms. Some students even experience pre-existing health conditions that make it unsafe for them to travel to or learn, such as auto-immune disorders.
Furthermore, many studies have linked poverty with poor health and an inability to withstand infectious viruses like COVID. Students in a lower income range are more likely to catch the virus. Without a decent healthcare program or available medications, these students are more likely to be left out on schoolwork for longer than other students with access to hospital care.
So, not only is it safer healthwise for many students, but Howell Schools has also given their students at-home technology for multiple years. With just a WiFi signal, students can find all of their work, as well as pre-taped classes, on the school-wide virtual learning program, Schoology. Plus, with the Schoology app downloadable on the App Store or the Google Play store, students can access their work straight from their phone in their favorite café or downtown at the Carnegie Library. Howell School District has hooked students all on virtual work, whether they realize or not, and has made it easily portable for students with no WiFi signal at home.