AHS students create school groups for online learning


Photo Courtesy of Elijah Goldman

Elijah Goldman (front) and Lian Lilah sit together while doing online school.

This year the longest summer vacation came to a close, somewhat anticlimactically, and seamlessly transitioned into online learning. The academics and schedule are more structured and put together than they were in the spring, but one thing the school couldn’t fix was students being able to learn together. One of the most critical parts of a positive school environment is students being able to catch up and socialize with their peers during lunch and breaks, which is no longer available. Even with Zoom calls, replacing the social interaction of in-person learning is difficult.
Some students have turned to small group learning at home. The idea of this in-person substitution gives students a chance to be with their friends and allows them to continue to learn remotely. Although this activity is not encouraged by the school, some students find this to be healthy and beneficial. Others tend to side with the AHS administration and believe being at home alone is best for learning and students’ well-being.
Bo Melton, an AHS Junior, misses all aspects of school and hopes to return to regular learning soon. However, in substitution for school, Melton has been going to friends’ houses multiple times a week to do school. Melton’s knowledge of how this way of learning might work is vast.
“I know that being in-person isn’t really an option right now, and it probably won’t be for a couple of months. But I think that going over to other people’s houses is a good idea because it lets kids get to be social with their friends, which is important for mental health,” Melton stated.
Sierra Zanier, an AHS senior, has not been able to start her senior year off traditionally or the way most in the class of 2021 have wanted to start it, but at home, in-group learning does not appeal to her.
“I think it’s a fun idea, but I don’t think having a group of friends doing school at home will be very productive. Even though students are already hanging out together outside of school, having them be in designated groups together would not be a good idea,” Zanier said.
Alexis Tarumianz, an Aspen native that now attends Lawrenceville in New Jersey, hopes in-person learning will return to her school soon for her Junior year, but if not, she believes the pros of online group sessions outweigh the cons.
“I think it is beneficial to do online with friends only if you are not easily distracted. However, I believe that it is good for student’s mental health to keep engaging with friends. It prevents them from getting lonely, which leads to bigger problems than occasionally getting distracted,” Tarumianz said.