Students choose all-virtual learning during fourth quarter


Matthew Ormsby

Most BSM students return to campus for in-person classes during fourth quarter, but some students remain virtual.

Mason Wordelman, Staff Writer

Benilde-St. Margaret’s welcomed students back to school full time following spring break on April 6. After experiencing normal school for the bulk of their high school career, seniors were looking to return to some degree of normalcy by returning to school every day. However, once experiencing fully in-person school, some students chose to remain virtual.  

At the start of fourth quarter, senior Jackson Leischow went back into school full time for two weeks. He ended up switching back to all virtual in order to avoid the risk of quarantine during lacrosse season. His hopes of having a somewhat normal experience fell short. “Going back to school was pretty awful to be honest. Everyone was wearing masks going down the hall. There’s not much social life,” Leischow said. 

One of the reasons to get students back in the classroom every day was to give seniors the chance to bond with their classmates in their last weeks of high school. However, things still seem different from pre-pandemic times. “Going back to school did not feel much closer to how it used to be before the pandemic. There is still not the same face-to-face interaction,” Leischow said. 

The change from hybrid learning to in-person full time can be a big shift in students’ daily schedules. “Switching from virtual to every day in the classroom was a dramatic change. I had a lot more free time in online school and got done with class earlier. I had time for activities that I would normally not,” Leischow said.

Another senior, Patrick Burns, has also experienced both in-person and virtual, opting for virtual learning this quarter. He noticed a shift in the involvement of online students in classroom activities. “There is definitely less focus on virtual students now. The kids in the classroom naturally contribute more by physically being there,” Burns said. 

While being online, students can find collaborative work more difficult than in person. “Learning can be harder over zoom than in the classroom. One thing that is more difficult is not being as involved in group projects as those that are in person,” Burns said.

Although there are learning challenges between in-person and virtual learning, there is a common theme of those online feeling they are missing out on being with their classmates. “One of the biggest downsides of online learning comes from not being able to see my classmates in person every day. I enjoy seeing my friends during the week,” Burns said.