Students face decisions about next semester

As the first semester is coming to a close, Chapman students are once again faced with a decision: Do they want to spend their second semester on campus or at home?

Sophomore Leigh Williams, who was enrolled in the Online Academy this semester, has decided to return to campus.

“Online learning just isn’t for me,” Williams said. “(It) isn’t my taste, and it has been truly difficult to truly learn anything.”

Students in the Online Academy have completed courses on Apex Learning, a program that multiple districts in Spartanburg County decided to use in case of a sudden school shutdown. Teachers wouldn’t have to rack their brains to come up with virtual assignments for their students; instead, they could assign work in Apex.

However, Williams says learning information online is very hard to understand and, more importantly, recall.

“Being in a classroom, I have a better tendency to retain what I’m learning,” Williams said. “When I do online school, nothing is absorbed.”

On the flip side, sophomore MayLeigh Chapman has elected to remain enrolled in the Online Academy next semester. Her reason? Flexibility.

“I really like being able to work ahead; that way, if I have to miss a day for some reason, I won’t have to worry so much about getting all of my work caught up so quickly,” Chapman said. “If you do get behind, then it’s no big deal. You aren’t penalized for having overdue assignments as long as you finish them by the end of the semester.”

Even though she is content with online learning, Chapman did acknowledge potential drawbacks that students need to consider.

“The only thing that I think is a drawback of online is not getting to see your friends (because) it’s good to have that social interaction every day,” Chapman said. “Us older kids don’t necessarily need to have that interaction every day because we’ve had it our whole lives. But what are these kindergarteners that need to be learning social skills going to do in the future? Will they be able to effectively communicate?”

Any in-person students who would like to enroll in the Online Academy, as well as virtual students who would like to return to campus, have until the end of the semester to make their final decisions.