Students Share Remote School Experiences

Amelia Knopp , Staff Writer

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact schools across the United States, some Manhattan High School students continue to receive their education through USD 383’s secondary remote learning program. Director of Secondary Education Trina Dibbini reports that 341 MHS students are enrolled in remote learning for the spring semester. These students have learned to navigate the experience of learning exclusively online. 

Junior Max Bowyer chose the remote model during the pandemic because of safety concerns and his mom’s profession in health care. Bowyer says that learning remotely has required some adjustments, but he has learned to manage his time effectively.

“I think the best part about [remote school] is the flexibility — it’s kind of a blessing and a curse,” Bowyer said. “You can either use it for you or you can use it against you.”

According to Bowyer, structure and balance are crucial to his online schooling success. In addition to following a typical block-hour schedule, Bowyer maintains his usual routine before school hours, often dressing in school clothes. 

“The hardest part about online school is probably balancing rest and work,” Bowyer said. 

Sophomore Eddie Bruegger also recognizes the importance of time management in his remote education. 

“I have better time management than I thought, because I’ve been able to schedule my days pretty well, and I get everything done,” Bruegger said.

Bruegger says that he appreciates the flexibility of his work time throughout the week. 

However, he misses the interactive aspect of in-person school. According to Bruegger, online communication doesn’t measure up to face-to-face communication with his peers and teachers. Bruegger has adjusted to the trials of online schooling by collaborating with his online peers. 

“If I have a problem, I usually just talk to my friends about it, because they’re pretty easy to reach,” Bruegger said. 

Freshman Addison Moeller has learned valuable lessons during her remote learning, including discipline and responsibility. 

“One of the best things about school is the social aspect of it, and when you take that away, you’re not as motivated to learn as much anymore,” Moeller said. “You have to be pretty self-disciplined when you’re remote because you’re by yourself.”

Moeller finds hope in the recent distributions of COVID-19 vaccinations. For now, she maintains a positive attitude by spending her days in comfortable clothing and chatting with friends. 

“I definitely miss seeing other people and having conversations with others, because I’m kind of a social person. But I FaceTime my friends a lot, and that makes up for it,” Moeller said. 

Sophomore Kaiden Siebert misses social interaction as well, but he enjoys school days spent with his younger brothers. 

“I miss the people [in school]. It’s tough, but it’s nice spending time with family,” Siebert said. 

According to Siebert, his school days are filled with a mixture of self-paced work and required Zoom sessions. Additionally, Siebert says that learning remotely has provided him with more time to explore his interests within each subject. 

“You can find your positives and negatives about [remote school], but you really want to look for the positives,” Siebert said.