Changes for the school year: Here’s what to expect

Canvas is the new learning platform for WS/FCS students. It is said to be easier to navigate and a better platform.

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Canvas is the new learning platform for WS/FCS students. It is said to be easier to navigate and a better platform.

Leah Boone, Co Editor-in-Chief

As everyone already knows, the 2020-21 school year is completely different than we’ve ever experienced. When COVID-19 began appearing in Forsyth County in March of the last school year, with it came unprecedented times. 

Now, less than a month before the next school year begins, there are many changes; the biggest being K-12 students county-wide are doing remote learning for the first nine weeks of the year. 

The school days will be in “real time,” meaning it is the same length as an in-person school day. There will be meetings held for each class period. There will be a synchronous and an asynchronous section for each class.

“I suppose ‘real time’ or synchronous classes are a necessary evil of sorts,” said Latin teacher Jessie Craft. “In this remote environment, they are really the closest approximation we have to face-to-face instruction.”  

“Flex Friday,” which was introduced midway through remote learning last year, will still be a part of the 20-21 school year e-learning. This gives both students and teachers the opportunity to catch up on work or give themselves a brain break. 

“Flex Friday gave extra time to work on assignments that we did not get to,” said senior Reece Alexander. “It was beneficial because if we had an online test for one class, we didn’t have to stress to get the other assignments for that day done.” 

However, Flex Friday will look a little different in the upcoming school year. There will be designated times for small group meetings, tutoring, and other beneficial accommodations.

Two main components of remote learning for this school year are synchronous and asynchronous times. Synchronous times are when the teachers and the students are online at the same time and collaborating, like during meeting times. Asynchronous times are the opposite, like when a student is watching a video the teacher made and put on their page.

“I feel like asynchronous is the best option,” Craft said. “It is the most accessible to the largest number of students making it the most equitable choice.”

Another large change for this school year is a new learning platform. Students and teachers will move from PowerSchool Learning to Canvas. Canvas is said to be easier to work with, with links and other websites easily accessible on the platform.

Overall, this year is very different from a normal school year. However, school board members and teachers are trying very hard to make it as doable as possible for students. Ensuring we stay safe and healthy by following all authority figures’ guidelines is of the utmost importance in order to go back to school the way we are used to.