A nerd’s guide to social distancing 

Meredith Comas, Print Editor-in-Chief

Spring break 2020 has taken a turn for the worse. COVID-19 — more commonly referred to as the virus that causes it, Coronavirus — has put the world on lockdown to stall what is now a global pandemic.

In response, schools around the United States have closed their doors for the next few weeks, including USD 383, encouraging students to stay home and practice social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

While I can’t claim to be an expert or have a degree in education, if my nerd-fueled tendencies have ever had time to shine, it’s now. As we look for ways to keep up academic progress through this time, I offer up my list of online, academic resources that have seen me through all four years of high school in hopes that you will find them as helpful as I have. If not, Harry Potter marathons are always a good backup plan. 


IXL Learning: 

IXL is an online learning platform based on using “skill trackers” to help students perfect skills in different academic areas. I first started using IXL in elementary school; however it has continued to help me through high school, hosting lessons and quizzes for students through 12th grade in math, language arts, and Spanish language. Users can select their own lessons or skills, making the website customizable to your needs. In addition, IXL has test prep and assessment skills plans for the PSAT, the SAT and the ACT based on your desired score. As a senior who has taken all of these tests, I would recommend these to anyone with the time to spare who’s looking to boost their testing skills. The website is free, and all skills are aligned to the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. 


Khan Academy:

I’ve noticed throughout high school that a lot of students already know about this site. However, for those that don’t, Khan Academy is a go-to resource for online learning or help. Khan Academy is free and has lessons that pair students with academic help up through the graduate school.

While this may not apply to us high school students yet, Khan is one of the first websites hosting online lesson plans and daily schedules for students 4-18 due to COVID-19 school closures. Khan is also paired with College Board to offer certified Advanced Placement lessons and help as well as SAT prep. The only downside to Kahn is that it does not offer Langauge Arts lessons past eighth grade standards. 

However, if you want to do something other than course-based work while on this COVID-19 break, for upperclassman who are using this time to explore postsecondary options, Khan also hosts college admission, career and personal finance courses for free. 



While this might seem like the perfect opportunity to catch up on the latest episodes of your favorite show, Netflix hosts a load of shows that can be both educational and entertaining. Netflix’s “Abstract: The Art of Design” is perfect for anyone interested in graphic design or visual art. As is “Brainchild,” a refreshing take on the social science behind everyday things from the addictiveness of social media to how memories work. “Monty Don’s Gardens” sees host Monty Don travel around Europe to some of the most famous gardens while discussing the historical and social impact they had on entire societies, making it a perfect watch for horticulture students as well as European history students. If U.S. history or government is your game, “Madame Secretary,” or “West Wing” are great shows to see American politics exemplified.