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Should NYC DOE Go Virtual? 

Distance Learning

Wix Media

By Madiha Masud & Subaita Tarika
Published February 12, 2022

From early 2020 to the end of 2021, students have experienced the crippling affliction that the pandemic caused. We can all agree on the effect COVID-19 had physically, mentally, socially, and financially from this pandemic. As we continue our blind battle with the virus, the New York City Department of Education is battling with the government, still deciding whether or not to close schools. We have experienced online learning for a year and now we are back in person. However, COVID-19 still remains constant in spreading in our city and state of New York. With the new variant, Omicron, the students of schools fear what is to come as cases occur each day. Now the real question remains: Should the Department of Education go virtual? 

According to the Daily COVID Case Map, the total number of people infected in schools has been increasing each day. As of February 1, 2022, there were 163 COVID-19 cases reported. 135 students and 26 staff were tested positive. As of February 2, 2022, there were 835 COVID-19 cases reported. 672 students and 163 staff were tested positive. As can be seen, the total number of people affected by this virus has risen in the span of a day. From September 13, 2021 to February 2, 2022, the total number of reported cases have summed up to 170, 680. This site updates Sunday through Friday at 6:00 pm and can be checked for weekly and daily reports. The statistics show the surge of COVID-19 cases to which can be implied as to the effects of our community. Therefore, an option for virtual learning should be available in order to decrease the percentage rate of COVID-19 cases.  
Some would say that schools are better open in person while others would argue that it would be better to close schools and resume online learning. Personally, we believe that the Department of Education should in fact resort to virtual school for a few months until COVID-19 subsides.

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Wix Media

LM Otero/AP

Virtual learning has been an option earlier this pandemic and it has caused many impacts on our community, creating a negative and positive space for everyone. Virtual classes would benefit everyone as it can be helpful for those who are not able to come to school in person. With or without COVID, an option for virtual learning would be a way for those who struggle or worry about their family’s health to allow them to focus on school. It is important to understand both the ups and downs of virtual learning. 

As health is a topic that is most important for everyone, looking at the matters is important as well. Those with elderly or very young family members at home may worry about attending school physically, and it can also affect the focus of a student. Different students learn in different ways. One may learn better in person and interact with others, while another may learn better independently and with less interactions. However, even with online classes, there are many ways to interact and stay connected to others in various ways like clubs, community meetings, and etc. The learning environment can also affect a student. Virtual learning creates a more comfortable and preferable place for the student. As it may cause distractions, it can also be a way for the student to comfortably focus on their classes and work. 

The mystery still remains unsolved: Should the Department of Education go virtual? From our standpoints, we think that schools should switch to online learning for a few months until the COVID-19 cases are stagnant.

“Daily Covid Case Map.” Web, 

Wykowski, Edward. “The Ups and Downs of Online Learning.” SPOTLIGHT, 2017, Accessed 19 Mar. 2022.

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