Switching it up

Large number of RHS students transfer to WAVE program

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Emily Miklaski

Marketing one students reap the benefits of in-person learning by interacting with each other in the classroom.

After the first semester, approximately one hundred RHS students transferred to WAVE, Wyandotte’s online learning system that was put in place last school year.
“I think some of the students switching had to do with the increasing numbers of the Omicron variant,” Principal Ben Reynolds said. “I think there are also some [students] that are under the impression that online might be easier which I don’t think is true.”
Students had to apply for the WAVE program over a month before the semester ended, which is around the time that the Omicron variant was on the rise around the country and at RHS. Reynolds believes that those are the main reasons why so many students decided to transfer after the first semester. Currently, there are a total of 205 RHS students enrolled in the WAVE program.
“The main reason that we needed students to apply for WAVE so early is because we needed to figure out how many teachers to teach the WAVE classes,” Reynolds said. “We had to pull regular teachers since we had more WAVE kids and we needed to balance it out.”
Reynolds states that in-person class sizes have had little to no change from the first semester because there was not one specific grade that had significantly more transfers than others. Furthermore, the teacher changes were the only big adjustment for the WAVE transfers.
Senior Salena St. John is one of the students that made the decision to transfer to WAVE.
“I transferred [to WAVE] for a few reasons but my main reason was that I learn so much better virtually, and I like having the independence to do assignments sort of on my own schedule,” St. John said.
She has noticed that since she transferred, she has felt less stressed and had more time to complete her assignments as she is only taking five classes. This is not to say that there are no downsides to the WAVE program.
“I do feel like I have more time to complete assignments but finding the motivation to do it has been a little challenging since I’m used to teachers encouraging me to do my work all of the time,” St. John said.
St. John states that there are various reasons she and other people she knows made the switch. Some needed a mental health break, others were worried about rising Covid cases, and other students decided that it would be better for their job availability. Regardless of their reasons, senior Reese Blackledge made the decision to stick with in-person schooling this semester.
“I feel pretty safe here. I’m vaccinated. I wear a mask. And I think we have a good system for quarantines,” Blackledge said. “I can see why some people might switch to WAVE but I just don’t see a need for it myself.”