Remote Learning Gets Mixed Reviews


Madelyn Forse ('21), Orbit Contributor

As the Reading Public School system adjusts to a safe new learning style, students of all grades at RMHS have many opinions, complaints, and praises about remote learning.

The start of the 2020-2021 school year has come with many changes. After a summer full of social distancing, the Reading Public Schools have a plan to safely transition into fall through remote learning structure. Before a hybrid model can even begin, students have all their classes online. There are 3-4 classes a day with these classes meeting every other day, which is quite a new transition for students.

Being home all day seems like a dream for some, nightmare for others.


Sophomore Michelle Walsh says, “I like only having half of my classes each day, and being able to sleep in later.” Ethan Forse, Sophia Ortins, and Amanda Frechette, also Sophomores, all agree sleeping in through free periods in the beginning of their days has a positive effect on them. “Not having to get ready to go into school every day, it gives me a lot of time in the morning to chill out and get ready for a long day,” Forse says. 

Another major change for the students is 80-minute blocks on Zoom for each class. Many students prefer Zoom over Microsoft Teams, but Zoom still comes with challenges. Senior Sofia Grimm says, “I like working in groups, I find that breakout rooms aren’t the most effective ways of getting work done.” Ortins agrees, “I dislike how it’s weird when you’re in breakout rooms with people. I feel like it would be easier in person when working with others.” Breakout rooms are a feature on Zoom that lets certain students go into separate calls where they can work together without disturbing the rest of the class. These groups can either be determined by the teacher or randomized.

Not everything about Zoom makes school worse. Some people would say Zoom is better. Sophomore Katelyn Puglia says, “I have found that presentations are less difficult because you don’t have to stand in front of all your classmates.” Sophomore Anna Serevitch is also in favor of class via Zoom, “You are working without the everyday distractions of the classroom, which helps you stay more focused on your work.” Some teachers take time to build in a short break in the 80-minute classes. Students can get some water, stretch, or use the restroom during this time. Ortins says, “I feel like the school could suggest that in all of the classes we have a 5-10 minute break in the middle. I have it in some of mine and I find that it helps me to re-focus.”

In regards to being on a computer all day (either on Zoom or doing homework through Google Classroom), there has been some positive and negative feedback. Walsh says, “One thing I dislike is how much time I spend each day staring at my computer screen, and how often I get headaches.” Junior Nicole Tawardros also is not a fan of staring at a computer all day, “I hate the screen time. It gives me headaches and eye-strain.”

Being home all day seems like a dream for some, nightmare for others. Multiple seniors who usually drive to school, like Hannah Donofrio, have said, “There is no commute. I don’t leave my house, so that’s nice. I’m not wasting money on gas.” On the other hand, Grimm says “I miss seeing my friends during the school day. Friends make the school day so much better!”

As we get closer and closer to the reopening of in-person learning in a hybrid schedule, many students will miss the concept of staying home all day online while some are looking forward to being in a classroom with the connection of teachers and other students