Electives During COVID-19



Students have been doing distance learning for over most of the year now, could electives be a possibility to give students more social interaction?

Hailey A., Writer

For over half of the school year now, students at Day Creek Intermediate School have been doing school virtually. It’s clear that distance learning doesn’t provide the same experience as in-school learning. The main thing we’re missing is social interaction. For a possible solution, reintroducing electives has been suggested. Though it sounds like a good idea in theory, it can get very complicated. 

First off, would students even choose to participate in electives if presented with the option?

The only current electives are the year-round electives that students can apply for. Those electives are band, journalism, leadership, yearbook, and Coyote News Network (CNN). Six-week electives that students used to take have been suspended because of our current COVID circumstances. 

 “Some kids might like (not having electives) because they don’t have to be in school for longer,” said Mia Y, 8th grader at Day Creek. “But other kids might miss it because they don’t get to interact (with other kids) as much.”

Students don’t want to have more homework or be on Zoom for longer. It’s also unlikely that they’d receive the full experience of an elective because they take place online. But some students expressed that they would join an elective just to see other friends and classmates, or to simply have a little more fun.

“Even though I think it’s a strictly in-school thing, I would probably take an elective,” 7th grader Johnny O. said. 

While the idea of having an extra class would probably be met with a groan from some students, there are advantages to the idea.

“I’m able to see and interact with more people (in my current media elective). It’s just fun to talk to people; and in class, I don’t really get to do that,” said 7th grader Keira S.  

Some kids in electives agreed that it allowed them to talk to more people and have more fun, but they also agreed that it could get in the way of core curriculum. Some electives start right after class which could cause additional stress. They’d have to juggle school work and elective responsibilities.

Even if enough kids wanted to have electives, they’d still have to deal with the obligations that come with the additional class. There’d also need to be teachers who’d commit to teaching those electives. They need to have the materials to teach, and every student would need to be assigned to an additional elective class.

Due to an online environment, some hands-on electives such as cooking or art would be nearly impossible to teach. 

“On paper, it sounds like a great idea,” said Mr. Apadoca, principal of Day Creek. “(But) kids are (already) burnt out from Zoom meetings. Imagine if you had another class (to go to). Teachers are burned out already. If they had another class to plan for, it would be tough.” 

For our school to bring back electives during distance learning, we would need greater resources, and teachers would have to be willing to conduct a Zoom meeting after their regular classes. Students would also have to commit to an additional class. With our current conditions, another Zoom class and ongoing elective work would not be ideal for everyone. Day Creek should only invest in electives for students if there’s a way to identify the funds, teachers, and students for a successful learning environment. If that goal is too difficult to attain, then we’ll just have to wait until COVID is a distant memory.