In-school summer courses, counseling workshops to move online


Submitted Photo: Melinda Stephan

Students listen to a guest speaker’s presentation at a college and career workshop hosted at CHS by the counseling center. Due to COVID-19, these workshops have been moved to be online.

Kassandra Darnell

Due to COVID-19, AP Macroeconomics and AP Government, in-school summer classes traditionally offered at CHS, have been transferred online. This school still plans to offer students the opportunity to receive credit and take part in the classes, but they will take them virtually through the Indiana Online Academy (IOA). Regularly scheduled online courses such as Physical Education I and Physical Education II are not affected by this change and will still be conducted through IOA. Additionally, summer camps and programs CHS students regularly attend, including college and career workshops and Showchoir Camps of America (SCA), will be virtual.
Melinda Stephan, college and career programming and resources coordinator, said two of the college and career boot camps the counseling center had planned are now online.
Stephan said summer courses and programs becoming virtual could benefit students in regard to accessibility for students who may not have been able to participate initially.
“We probably get about maybe (but) not quite 10% of the Senior Class or rising Senior Class that participates in boot camp every summer,” Stephan said. “We know that all of our rising seniors could benefit from it but they all can’t necessarily come. We don’t have the room for all of them. They have band, they have sport practices, they have family vacations, and there’ve been a lot of reasons why students haven’t taken advantage of that boot camp.

“And I think it basically just provides even more access for students (to be flexible). Students want to take advantage of the information from the college reps and the financial aid speakers and what we have to offer, but they’re not able to come in person. Now they will have access to this information because it’s virtual. So, I think it’s absolutely a benefit.”
However, for sophomore Cole Weiland, in-school courses and workshops going virtual may not be best.
Weiland said he planned to attend the in-school AP Macroeconomics course to create flexibility in his schedule next school year. However, the class becoming virtual could pose issues for his efficiency in the course.
“(Efficiency is) one of the biggest problems I had with doing (AP Macroeconomics) online this time,” Weiland said. “Specifically for AP Macro, I would have rather have a pretty good understanding, considering I want to learn more about economics. Taking it online, I feel like, could affect my comprehension of the entire topic, which, it’s not terrible that it’s online, but there are some drawbacks. I kind of wanted to do it in school, as well, to maintain focus in the class and get rid of any distractions I would have had.”
Furthermore, Finn Mellor, member of New Edition and sophomore, said he was disappointed about programs becoming virtual this summer. Mellor said he planned to attend SCA this summer but that he chose not to participate this year because of the experiences the online program would lack.

Finn Mellor (far left), member of New Edition and sophomore, poses at Showchoir Camps of America (SCA). Due to COVID-19, SCA is now being offered online. (Submitted Photo: Finn Mellor)

“I chose not to participate because it just wouldn’t be the same online. All the memories I made last year and the experiences like the workshops just wouldn’t be as fun as me actually being there,” Mellor said. “This was also the last year I could go with my brother with both of us being campers and it just wouldn’t be as fun online. Also, trying to learn a whole show choir set online would be super difficult.”
Stephan said while she does see the benefits of moving these courses and programs online, she understands students will be missing out on the full experiences that come with attending these programs in-person.

“I don’t think it’s ideal at all. I think there’s a lot that’s lost by not having in-person contact with an instructor, or in the case of the boot camp… part of the value of that program is that they get to hear from a lot of different people,” Stephan said. “And, our plan in this virtual boot camp is to do something similar, but it’ll all be video, right? So it’s not going to be quite the same. I think it’s better than not providing the information and the opportunity at all.”
Despite Weiland’s apprehension toward taking AP Macroeconomics online, he said he’s still able to see the benefits of it and thinks it would be a great resource for other students.
Weiland said, “(Personally), I would probably (prefer to) do (the class) in school, but I know other people are not like that. I mean, if enough people want to do it online, I say let them do that. But me personally, I’d rather do it in school. It really just depends on what works best for everyone.”

Cady Armstrong