Should LHS Move to 50 Percent?

Will cases spike in Lindenhurst when we go to 50%? Or would going 50% be a good call?

Timmy Vine, Staff Writer

In light of COVID 19, many students are only going into school one day a week, two at most. Some have chosen to stay home completely and continue with their academics in fully remote setting. The decision has been made to go 50% attendance. Some people would consider this an advantage with students, but others may see it as a health risk and it could actually make more kids go to full remote learning. The biggest class at 25 percent might have at most 13 kids. When you go to 50% that could be the minimum number of kids in a class. 

Going back to school at 50 percent would obviously double each group inside and double the number of kids in a class. That could be a deal breaker for some students, some parents, and maybe even some teachers. It would be harder to practice social distancing due to the boost of class size, and students would have to wear masks at all times especially during lunch. Joe Degregorio, a Junior at Lindenhurst High School, says that he doesn’t want to go back to 50 percent. “I don’t like the fact of wearing a mask all day, and I don’t feel as if the plastic shields will do much to prevent students and staff from getting COVID-19.”  Many schools such as Islip High School let multiple students sit at their lunch tables, but there are pieces of plexiglass separating them from each other. That might be what we see happening in the near future if we do happen to go 50 percent. Many schools outside of Lindenhurst don’t have the amount of faculty and students as we do here. This may be why some schools are every other day and are already going 50%. Since we are one of the largest school districts on Long Island, we were forced to start out at 25 percent, and see how Lindenhurst would do with the virus numbers wise. 

If it wasn’t safe to go back to school 50%, Lindenhurst Schools would not do it. However, some students can easily lie about where they have been, and who they have been with.  A disregard like that could cause a spike in cases. The benefit of students attending school every other day is it is very likely that their grades would increase dramatically.  Dylan Jones, a junior at Lindenhurst High School, would like to go back to 50%. He admits, “I used to go to talk to my friends and now I go once a week to see no one and learn nothing. It is truly a bad experience.” To focus solely on your school work at home, when there are so many distractions, is nearly impossible. Not only do students have access to their phones whenever they want, but they can now tune out the teachers with their cameras pointed toward the ceiling, and get on their Xbox, Playstation, or PC. When attending 50% of the time, students would only encounter these distractions every other day; therefore, it would force them to pay attention when they are actually in class. Other than your grades being raised dramatically, another valid reason to go 50% would be to give students a sense of normalcy. For the past eight months, we have been on lockdown and have been really restricted on how we live.  Being able to go back to school everyday would give students motivation to do well because they are not sitting home for several days in a school week. 

As you can see, going back to school 50% is a pretty touchy subject because there are many risks alongside but also many benefits. Risks include: having cases spike and not being able to enforce social distancing. However these benefits can include increased student performance and creating a sense of normalcy.  What will you do? Will you decide to go into school for the 50%, or will you rather stay home and go full remote?