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Students prepare for online classes

BY ORA NELSON

Students across Covington County are scheduled to begin online classes on Monday, April 6.

The schools will be using an application called “Google Classroom”—a Google application that is available to anyone with a personal Google account that’s goal is to “streamline the process of sharing files and coursework between teachers and students” according to their website.

“By now you have heard the state has mandated the end of traditional school for the remainder of the year; however, we will complete this school year beginning April 6 via distance learning,” said Ted Watson, superintendent of Andalusia City Schools.

County schools are also following this schedule and will begin online classes on Monday, April 6, to complete the academic school year. 

“We do assignments through Google Classrooms and get announcements through Remind (a private mobile messaging app used by schools, teachers, and students),” said J.D. Hudson, a junior at Florala High School (FHS).

Senior students everywhere seem to be at a loss on how to respond to the cancelation of traditional school and the switch to online.

“I’m waiting it out,” said Jenna Goolsby, a senior at FHS. “There’s really nothing else I can do. You know, I’m a senior. Graduation is postponed until I don’t know when.”

“I feel awful for the seniors,” said Emily Mullins, a junior at Straughn High School (SHS). “It’s really upsetting that they are missing out on things like a normal graduation and prom.”

“As long as you [seniors] didn’t have any F’s for the third-nine weeks [report card], then you’re a grad[uate],” said Haley Martin, a senior at FHS. “If you did [have an F] then you have to take classes online.”

“I just have to finish my dual enrollment classes, but everything else is done,” said Lucy Dantz, a senior at SHS. “I’m a senior, so my other classes are just finished.”

Although the scheduled classes have yet to begin, students have begun to express their concerns with continuing the school year online.

“You [students] get to work at your own pace online—which is a positive,” said Hudson. “But at the same time, you’re not seeing everyone else.”

“It’s going to be challenging because we won’t have help if we need it,” said Dianna-Grace Nelson, a freshman at Andalusia High School (AHS). “I’m a good student and think I’ll do alright, but there’s some people that don’t and won’t be able to get help.”

“My worries are that some students may not perform as well as they would at school because some students do better getting taught one-on-one, and not through a video or just from words on a screen,” said Rashaad Coleman, a junior at FHS.

“I can’t really get the help I need at home, so me and my friends are making a group chat to help each other,” said Leilah Coachman, a freshman at AHS.

“It’s sad we went to our last day of school and didn’t even know it,” said Dantz. “It’s kind of hard to deal with. Talking with my friends helps, but we can’t be together and deal with it in person. It’s hard sometimes. It’s happening to everyone and talking with them [friends] helps me not feel as alone.”

“We’ve done testing online before, so I’m not really worried about the testing part,” said Allie Kelley, a junior at SHS.

“If you tried, I think people could finish all of their [class]work in three or four hours,” said Hudson. “But that’s if you’re very motivated.”

“I don’t think it’ll take me that long to finish the work, though,” said Coleman. “But I’d understand if people were worried about tests and all that.”

“We won’t be doing semester exams [at FHS] as far as I know,” said Hudson.

State testing has already been canceled earlier in the month by President Trump, but schools within Covington County have yet to announce anything about year-end exams and the testing process online.

“Please be patient with us as we swim these uncharted waters,” said Watson. “These are uncertain times but I’m very confident that we will find ourselves on the other end of this stronger than ever.”