With the back and forth switch from 100% remote and hybrid model for OPS throughout the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID, students have not had the chance to be back for five days a week in school.
On Jan. 12, OPS released their decision to bring students back five days a week. While school districts such as Elkhorn, Millard and Papillion have had students the full five days a week with the option for full remote the whole school year, OPS has not had this opportunity yet.
“I initially was surprised that we were going to be going back 100% because it seems like OPS has been strict this year,” sophomore Emma Hanke said.
The COVID vaccine is now being distributed to healthcare workers, people of ages 80 and older and overall high-risk people. OPS currently does not have a plan on getting the vaccine distributed to teachers, but despite this, is still having hopes for going back to five days a week.
“I didn’t think we would ever go back every single day with everyone. I am a little skeptical, just because the cases are still high, but I know with the vaccine, it will be better,” senior Sanjay Srinivasan said.
OPS already began five days in-person learning for elementary and middle school students beginning on Feb. 2 and high school students begin on Wednesday of next week.
For some students this change will be a positive one, online learning has caused distractions and made it, overall, easier to avoid or ignore their school work, so being in-person works better for them.
“I think OPS wants their students to go back because so many are struggling with their schoolwork,” said Hanke. “Being in person definitely helped me a lot compared to being all online in the beginning of the year.”
Burke has implemented safety procedures such as hand sanitizing stations, wearing masks at all times other than eating, social distancing and spacing desks. However, some students still remain skeptical and feel more comfortable with learning from home.
“I will be staying remote,” Srinivasan said. “I want to be careful for my friends sake, and I don’t want to pass anything to them or any other person at the school. I also feel more comfortable staying at home and having my own space.”
One factor that keeps students choosing to be in-person is athletics and activities. Students are only able to participate in athletics and activities if you choose to be in-person.
“I will be going back 100% because I am an athlete and I learn the best in person,” Hanke said.
If COVID cases continually rise, there is the chance that OPS could pull the plug on going five days a week in-person.
“It’s hard to say that being 100% back will work for students,” Srinivasan said. “I remember the beginning of school, when everyone was excited to go back and we ended up staying home. I think it’s something that has to be played out, and then we will be able to see the results, but I know OPS will do everything to keep us safe.”