Opinion: Students should have more options when it comes to returning to school

Many Arizona schools are beginning to consider reopening their campus in time for fall, leaving some students worried about going back to school during a pandemic. However, with all the complications of doing school virtually and many students losing the connection of seeing their friends and teachers in person, it would be more beneficial for some students to be allowed to go back to the classroom.
There are many different plans for reopening between each school district because there are not universal guidelines that have been set by the state. A lot of controversy about whether or not to go back to school is based on the uncertainty of how each district will keep students safe in order to slow the spread of the virus.
As of Aug. 23, John Hopkins University reports that the trend for positive cases is downward, only being about 7.8 percent, while of the known test results from last week, the state says the rate is about 5 percent. According to the data, a 5 percent positivity rate is a relatively solid benchmark for the spread being under control.
The fears about going back to school became an underlying problem in July, when the positivity rate for COVID-19 cases was about 25 percent, leaving many parents wondering whether or not they should send their kids to school, even if the virus was extremely widespread. Since then, the number of cases in Arizona have gone down dramatically. It is almost at the point where it will be completely safe to reopen schools, and it will be once the positivity rate dips below 5 percent.
Students all over the nation have had to deal with the complications of learning virtually and have had to adapt to a new way of learning outside of the classroom. The reason why students should be allowed the option to return to school is for their learning benefit, since some students learn more efficiently in the classroom. Losing the personal connection from their teachers may affect some students’ abilities as well as students who go to teacher’s office hours in order to get help on anything they are struggling with.
For a lot of people, learning virtually from their house has affected them negatively and has led many people to feel fatigued after being online four to eight hours a day for school or work. Learning in person can better stimulate the brain, and allow people to get more invested into what they are doing by being around their friends and having people to interact with. Overall, students would be able to learn more by physically being in the classroom, and have more interest in what they are learning about by being able to have a more interactive experience with the people around them.
Since the virus continues the spread and poses risks to not only children, but their parents as well. Students should be allowed the option to return to school or continue to do an online program for the safety of their family. Having the option would provide a solution to everyone, and give students the chance to learn in whichever way they think will be most beneficial to them.