Online school continues to affect the in-person experience at Webb


Taylor Crawford

Morgan Kapp, world language department faculty, teaches Spanish to engaged students.

At the beginning of online school, teachers scrambled to put their entire curriculum on Canvas while boarding students packed up their dorms and braced themselves for the anxiety-stricken trip home. Little did we know just how much online learning would affect us to this day.

Thankfully, due to the COVID-19 vaccine and the work of the medical advisory board and faculty to create and uphold COVID precautions, students were welcomed back onto campus for in-person schooling in August 2021.

Students were ecstatic to finally see their classmates after over a year of online classes.

“The adjustment [back onto campus and in-person schooling] was really refreshing because I was able to see people I haven’t seen for the first time in two years,” Viraj Nigam (‘23) said. “I prefer in-person school because you get to actually see people and have actual interactions instead of seeing people in a two-by-two box on zoom.”

Webb students still acknowledge that online school had its advantages.

“I enjoyed online school because I had a lot of rest and was less stressed out with COVID precautions,” Madeline Lilley (‘22) said. “But in general, it’s a lot better [now] because I can balance social life with academics and with in-person school because I get to see my friends every day.”

However, not everything has been smooth sailing since we returned to campus. Faculty and students have noticed that there are also ways that in-person school has changed due to online schooling. The use of digital notes, digitized class, and homework has significantly changed from pre-pandemic to now.

Faculty and students have also noticed a so-called ‘learning gap’ caused by online school.

“[The learning gap] definitely happened,” said Sonsoles Cardalliaguet, world language teacher. “In the beginning it was hard, but it just took time and now thinking back to my classes, we’re fine. The mental health [aspect] is also a big part. We have all suffered from the pandemic, students and teachers alike. My students tell me if I assigned too much [work] and we help each other get through this. It’s not back to normal but hopefully soon.”

“Our goal [at the beginning of the year] was to see where students were entering and making sure we were able to reach all of our students and meet them where they were, either catch them up to speed or give them other things to do while other kids were catching up,” said Michael Hoe, Director of Studies. “That’s what we call differentiation in education which is being able to meet every kid where they are individually.”

The abrupt switch into online school and the long-awaited transition back at the beginning of this year was not, by any means, an easy experience for anyone. The Webb community continues to support and encourage each other, ensuring that we are all staying safe and healthy, both mentally and physically.