Remote learning extended into next semester

Haley Maser, News Editor

After Illinois’ transition into tier 3 coronavirus mitigations, the JTHS Board of Education has made the decision to extend online learning until February 16, 2021. At the start of the second semester, the school day will also look slightly different, with a new remote schedule being implemented.

On December 15, the continuation of remote learning was decided upon following multiple extensions throughout the school year. The news was announced to the JTHS community the next day in a statement from Dr. Guseman. “The safety of students and staff is paramount and the data at this time required me to make this recommendation,” the superintendent restated from her previous communications. 

This new update is raising concerns for the future of the 2020-2021 school year, especially for seniors. Facebook user Sadie Smith-West commented, “…these seniors probably won’t step foot in their buildings this year… so can we please plan something for their graduation?” which received many replies in agreement. Joliet West High School has been conducting school virtually since March, causing many students to miss out on highly anticipated activities. “To be honest, I didn’t expect to have much of a senior year at all. I’m disappointed, of course, but not surprised,” stated senior Kelly Rappaport. “Second semester is usually such a busy time, but it’s going to be very different this year.”

In addition to continuing their education through a computer screen when they return from winter break on January 6, students will also be adjusting to a slightly different schedule. The new format, which will be uniform across the week, “provides consistency and eliminates confusion,” according to Superintendent Guseman. Each class period will be 40 minutes with 10-minute breaks in between, causing the school day to end at 12:50 pm.