Covid’s Continuous Impact On Student Learning


Hannah Klimek

Greater Latrobe Senior High School is currently participating in the hybrid instructional model ,however, they also offer the option of the GLSD online learning program to all students.

Thousands of schools across the state are currently wavering between different instructional models. While still in the midst of a pandemic, schools want to make sure that their staff and students remain safe and healthy while still providing them with the best possible education plan.

On Tuesday, January 19, 2021 the Greater Latrobe School District’s school board made the decision that all students grades nine through eleven will return to school following the hybrid instructional model, with seniors returning to school four days a week. This decision came after numerous school board meetings and after already taking part in online instruction.

While students were given this opportunity to return to school, they also have been given the choice to remain a part of the GLSD online learning program, as some students have been participating in since the beginning of the year. More than half of all students have chosen to go back in-person, but just as many weren’t as eager to get back into the building just quite yet.

Lauren Weatherton, a current sophomore and Shallyn Shank, a current junior are participating in their classes for different reasons. Weatherton has just recently begun taking part in the GLSD online program last week and plans to attend for just a little while longer. However, Shank has been attending school in-person partaking in the hybrid instructional model. Each of them say that there are certain factors and benefits that have influenced their decisions.

Weatherton said, “One of the biggest factors that I took into consideration was the way that I learn best. I feel that being online has helped me in more ways than one.” She explained that she feels that she learns best online and that she has more time to focus on certain subjects. Weatherton said, “Not only do I have more time to complete my assignments, but I face less distraction at home, and can complete my work quicker and more effectively.” Weatherton went on to say that while at school she tends to spend more time with her friends than she does working on homework.

Shank has her own opinions on her education. Shank said, “I did feel that I learned well during the school’s time online, however, I like being in a school setting and learn better that way.” Shank went on to explain that she not only likes learning in the school setting, but she also feels that she is more successful being in-person. “I also feel that I have more motivation to complete my work quicker than usual when I am in school,” said Shank.

Keeping their own feelings in mind, both students feel that GLSD has made the right decision for all students during this time.

Weatherton said, “While I do plan on staying online for a bit longer, I do feel that having students back in the school was the right call.” She went on to explain that she feels that the high school giving students the option to return or not is beneficial to many.

“I’m glad that students have the option to return to school during the hybrid model, or to remain online as a part of the GLSD online program. I think that it allows for students to choose to learn how they feel is best and to go back to school when they feel safe and ready.”

Shank also believes in the safety and welfare of all. She said, “I do think it was the right decision to return to in-person learning during this time. It’s even better that students have options to choose from. I just think it is beneficial to all students and staff involved.”

Both girls are in a comfortable learning position at this time, however, the instructional model plans had been altered again on Tuesday, February 2. Beginning February 8, the instructional model is now a full-time brick and mortar (5 days a week) schedule. However, as always students will have the opportunity to remain online apart of the GLSD online program.

Weatherton said, “I did think that we’d be going back full-time. I say this because I really think that our teachers and principals are trying to get us all back on track so we can feel a sense of normalcy again.”

Shank said, “I also had a feeling that we’d be going back to full-time in-person learning. I just thought that because the hybrid model has gone well so far, the next step was being back in school five days a week.”

The instructional model may shift again, however, students at Greater Latrobe High School seem to be adapting to and accepting each new instructional model that is introduced.