Demand Positive Change in Online Learning for Washoe County School District

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We, the students of Washoe County, feel that the current distance learning system in place of in-person education is failing us.

The way that distance learning was organized is a wreck. We spend more time finding our assignments than doing them. We spend more time trying to teach ourselves the curriculum than we do using what we learned. We are unable to learn the required material online by the time of the unit test. To earn adequate grades, we spend hours and hours sitting down looking at a screen despite this program being organized to mimic/replace regular schooling. Normal stresses of being a high school student are bad enough, but with distance learning we feel an immense amount of stress from the unnecessary complexity of the distance learning program. Our brains and our mental health are suffering because of what we have been forced to participate in.

It is impossible to learn the course content while also trying to learn how to work and manage the many apps, websites, programs, usernames, and passwords for each different class. Unclear instructions, technical difficulties, and constant confusion with assignments and due dates make it extremely difficult to even turn in our work. The current distance/hybrid learning set up is a disarray of different learning platforms that even the most technologically skilled “21st century student” could not navigate. How are we expected to learn what we need when we are thrown into a mess such as this?

Our education system has needed change for many years and the district’s inadequate response to our current situation highlights the many issues we want fixed. We are the future. We want to leave high school feeling confident that we learned enough to help us contribute to society and make a living, but this is not how we feel. Instead of having time to focus on building friendships and developing social skills, we are hustlingand using all our time to get a decent grade. Instead of developing a love for learning and seeking out new knowledge, we are struggling to access the knowledge the school has promised. We are tired of trying to get the knowledge we need from our current broken system and we demand change.

We feel that the district does not care about us. We feel that dedicated teachers are trying hard, but are failing to adequately teach, not because of desire or effort but rather due to the constraints on them and also a lack of resources. We feel as though we, the students, are a second thought to political agendas. We are not just lazy students complaining about school. We are hard-working, diligent students who are not complaining about doing the work, we are fighting against how unnecessarilyconfusing and purposelessly time consuming it is. Distance learning when it was first introduced in April was like a sick joke, and despite the illusory appearance that distance learning was revamped for this semester, there is barely a difference.

But there is hope. We understand that there was not much time to put this program into action and we understand that there are not many other options. But we would like to help change that. If the Washoe County School District could hear us out, we could help to make this the best program for us and for teachers. We would like to have our voice, the students voice, heard in organized discussions on how we can improve the system to make it better for everyone.

If you want to help make a change for the students and the future of our country, sign this petition. All of us pay taxes for an educational system that we should improve. Please help support us as we strive to achieve an equitable and robust educational system.