Distanced learning at Mounds View versus Roseville

Katherine Spence, Staff Reporter

Before this year, attending school while lying in bed seemed unimaginable for most students. During recent months, this once distant dream became a reality. In light of the current pandemic, schools have shifted their curriculum to accommodate online learning. Little did Mounds View students know, they would not be returning to school after spring break. Instead, they would join the 1.2 billion students worldwide who now depend on digital platforms for their education. However, not all schools have adapted identically. 

A junior at Roseville Area High School, Ana Castaño, continues to make the best of her distance learning experience while working hard to finish the school year strong. At Mounds View High School, teachers rarely hold class meetings, and students typically work on assignments throughout the day at their own pace on Google Classroom. In contrast, Roseville has set a strict daily online schedule for their students, with hour-long class periods held on Zoom and assignments sent out on Schoology. Castaño even continues to follow the Roseville alternating A/B day schedule, with all of her AP classes one day and her less rigorous classes the next. 

Like most students, Castaño found a few challenges early on with learning outside the traditional classroom. Although she attends daily Zoom lessons with her teachers, she misses the social connection and does not find online discussions as enriching. “I feel like part of learning is being together with other people, and that component is missing when it comes to distance learning,” said Castaño. In regards to education, she can see a difference in the quality, as many teachers were forced to cut down on their spring curriculum. Mounds View junior, Marielle Denning agrees to have suffered the same loss of in-depth learning, “I feel like we are limited in the amount of work that we can do because teachers had to cut down on lesson plans,” said Denning. 

Distance learning has been beneficial in some aspects. Both Castaño and Denning enjoy the freedom of working at their own pace. “If something piques my interest, I can stop what I’m doing to go and do my own research,” said Castaño. She also expressed significant stress relief, as Roseville switched to a pass/no-mark grading system, following the lead of several colleges. Denning notes an improvement in her sleep schedule which has positively impacted her school performance. 

Overall, both Roseville and Mounds View made significant adjustments to accommodate distance learning.  “It was hard to get used to at first, but now I think it was the best option for the school,” said Denning. These changes may have taken a while to adjust to, but students of both schools believe it has been a positive experience.