CORAL SPRINGS, FL – I’m heading into a crucial year of my high school experience with a lot of confusion and concerns.

A Coral Springs resident for most of my life, I’ll be a junior at Pompano Beach High School this year – a time that will determine my options for college.

But with the Covid-19 outbreak, the dynamic of my high school education has completely changed. Like all other local schools, my school will be online, at least for the first nine weeks of the year.

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I agree with the decision to go virtual full time, as it is the only way to protect the students and staff.

I do wish, though, the school system would communicate with us more openly. I would like to know more about how online classes will be conducted.

The end of the last school year was a frustrating time, as virtual classes were barely there. It was a time of adjustment for both students and teachers, but despite everyone’s best efforts, I didn’t learn nearly as much as I would have face-to-face with my teachers.

Hopefully, everyone has learned from it, and we will start the year with new wisdom gained from our first attempt at online learning.

The school district has had the summer to plan for this year, and we’ve been told that the teachers have received additional training on how to meet the students’ educational needs.

So far, the limited information I have received has come from students in charge of clubs and organizations that have been provided with some additional tidbits about what classes will look like.

Just a week or two ago, the school district posted schedules on a smartphone app that were then confirmed to be inaccurate and were taken down a few hours later.

All that aside, what I’ve concluded from putting the pieces together is that we will have four 90-minute classes each day (which sticks to the block-scheduling used in past years) including a study hall period and a 30-minute lunch period each day.

Of course, none of this is confirmed and is subject to change as the year progresses.

That said, this is a vast improvement from last year’s online learning when my classmates and I received very limited instructional time and proved to be ineffective for most students.

But again, we have all learned from that, and I trust that Broward County schools will create a more structured learning plan for students throughout the county to provide a more meaningful learning environment.

Sophie Lichtenstein is a junior at Pompano Beach High School.


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