Students deliberate a school return


Adamaris Gonzalez, Reporter

The jury is out at Morton East, discussing the idea of returning to school.

According to, currently, out of 4,048 schools in Illinois, there is a mixture of in-person, remote, and hybrid learning. 31% of schools are remote, 28% have begun in-person instruction, and 42% are initiating hybrid education. Previously, with the sudden closures of schools by Governor J.B. Pritzker on March 13, 2020, students began the intense process of online learning. Amusingly, the plan was to quarantine for two weeks, enter spring break, and return to classes per usual. However, that plan never saw the light of day. On April 3, there were 8,904 confirmed COVID-19 cases across Illinois, according to Coronavirus cases continued to spike over time, and with official confirmation by Governor Pritzker, students ended up finishing the school year remotely as the world plummeted into a global pandemic. According to the Chicago Tribune, a survey taken by the Illinois State Board of Education announced on September 1 that about one million students would begin the school year as remote learners. In a random survey of 74 Morton East students, 45 students report to favor in-person instruction over the current remote learning.

“I miss the relationship and face to face connections with my students. I miss the higher levels of participation from my students. I miss seeing what my students are doing and how they are feeling in that moment. But, you know I wouldn’t mind both remote and in-person now. I see the value and the convenience of remote learning, yet it does forfeit the energy of face-to-face teaching. To accommodate for remote learning, I have had to turn it all digital, and utilize remote tools like Remind, Teams, chats, direct messaging, Go Formative, Kahoot, Quizziz, and AP classroom,” English teacher Sofia Gonzalez said.

Teachers have had to create vast adjustments to their curriculum to conduct online teaching, and students have had to adapt to new methods of attending school through a computer screen. Experiencing the overall act of remote learning has led students to reconsider the possibility of returning to classes.

“As much as online school (expletive) sucks, there’s no way the school would be able to regulate going back to school. There are too many kids and there is no efficient way to quarantine the people who do get sick. It’s a bad idea so we need to stick with remote learning,” junior Joshairys Rodriguez said.

With the Coronavirus pandemic rife in Cicero, especially recently, the main concern for students is the safety precautions the school will exact if students and staff members return to the building for in-person instruction.

“Straight up a bad and selfish idea because we are putting students and teachers at risk and we will probably end up leaving again for quarantine two weeks in,” sophomore Denisse Rea said.

However, no matter the risks some students are more than willing to enter the classrooms again, even if it is through the hybrid model.

“It would be a lot more helpful for students because it would allow for easier learning since we will have the teacher to answer questions and fully explain the material,” junior Samanta Tirado-Cedillo said.

A germane argument for many of our fellow peers is that they miss the constant productivity and convivial atmosphere the daily school day would offer.

“I personally want to go back to school because it gets me to leave the house every day and I miss talking with friends and actually learning hands-on with the teachers,” junior Andres Grajeda said.

Be that as it may, numerous students are managing this school year by simply riding the tide and trying to overcome the adversaries this year has brought us.

“There’s two sides to remote learning. There is one where it benefits you because you don’t have to worry about the stress of like, looking good for school or like the school drama or different things that you may feel self-conscious about. But, there’s also a bad side to remote learning, like for people who don’t have all of the needed materials or if there are a lot of distractions in the house. It all makes you feel more stressed in a way. Overall, there is many pros and cons for both sides to remote learning, but I don’t really have a preference. However, I do like how it has made me feel closer to my family and to myself mentally,” student board member Jennifer Villagomez said.