Freedom’s first flexible instruction days of year

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Madison Sanders/FHS Press

Mr. Aaron Fitzpatrick’s Print Media Workshop class talks about yearbook while learning virtually due to dangerous weather conditions on Feb. 3.

Madison Sanders, Asst. Editorial Editor

On Jan. 28, parents and guardians got a phone call around 5 a.m. saying that the Freedom Area School District would have a two-hour delay because of a dangerous winter storm that was traveling through Beaver County. About an hour and a half later, parents got another call informing them that students would be staying home from school and learning virtually by Google Meet all day. 

Students joined their first block class’ Google Meet at about 9:50 a.m. because of the two-hour delay. Because this call was so last minute, some students did not have the right materials they needed for the day. The district learned from this by calling the next two virtual days about 16 hours before the school day started. On Feb. 2, the district canceled in-person school for Feb. 3 because of an ice storm heading toward Beaver County. With the weather not improving, the district also decided to cancel school on Feb. 4, making both days virtual learning days. With the call being so ahead of schedule, students, parents and teachers had time to prepare for the next few days ahead. These three dates were the first official remote learning days of the year, so it was a learning process for everyone; teachers and staff had to use the best of their abilities to try to make these days work.

“Of course I would rather have been in the building, but with the circumstances we were under, teachers did the best that they could for a successful day,” sophomore Alyssa Imhoff said. 

Even though virtual learning days are not loved by most people, it has to be taken as a safety precaution whether that be for sickness or weather. In the 2020 and 2021 school years, students and teachers were remote learning almost every day because of the COVID-19 pandemic and how fast the disease was spreading across the state. So, students and teachers were already used to being home all the time and learning off of Google Meets. So far into the 2022 school year, the district has only had to return for virtual classes because of weather. 

Most teachers know that students are not a fan of virtual learning because it can be boring, there are distractions at home or staring at a computer screen for too long can cause headaches, so teachers will sometimes give students breaks on virtual days. Whether that be letting them off of the meeting early or giving them easy lessons or homework, students appreciate when teachers do this so they aren’t as miserable throughout the day. 

“I have definitely noticed that when I am at home I have a harder time focusing, but I can handle it when it is only for one or two days. I just hope this weather goes away so we can be in the building full time again,” junior Finley Paxton said. 

With the winter season at its peak right now, the district does not really have a clear understanding of what the rest of the season will look like, but we do know that FASD will be keeping the virtual learning days instead of snow days for the rest of the year.