BY DYLAN HEPPERT
As classes resume at Wadsworth High School, the Four Cities Compact programs have started as well under certain guidelines.
Many of the programs available in the compact are structured upon hands-on learning and experience to prepare students for a career. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, many programs in the compact are limited on what they can and cannot do.
One of the many affected programs is the criminal science technology course offered at Barberton High School. The criminal science program is designed to prepare students for future careers in law and forensic sciences. It includes many hands-on activities such as labs, scenarios, field trips and ride-alongs with police officers as part of the course. Some of these activities are still possible while others have to be scrapped altogether.
“We have had to social distance our classroom/labs, so our class sizes are not as big as they have been in the past,” said compact teacher Jeremy Milford. “Student interaction will have to be changed within most of my labs, limited partnering of students no longer than fifteen minutes at a time, some labs may become related only or eliminated all together.”
While the program is in full session at BHS now, there is a prepared back up plan just in case schools close down again. This plan includes work relayed through Google Classroom along with daily lessons instructed through Google Meet.
“Looking back to last Spring, we were not as prepared as we are now to engage the students in remote learning,” said Milford. Instructors have received a lot of technology and resource training prior to the new school year starting.”
Although much has changed in the program, students feel as though it has a similar format to the start of the previous school year.
“I don’t think much has really changed from last year other than the labs which isn’t really that big of a deal,” said Alexus Reilly, a senior in the program, “I’m just glad that we’re in school the whole time and not online.”
Similar to normal high school classes, compact classes proved to be difficult for students at the end of last year.
“Last year, at the end of the year, when we had to do all of our stuff online, it was impossible,” said Reilly. “We didn’t really get anything done.”
Despite these changes, the staff still believe that their students can still learn effectively in-person. However, if Barberton or Wadsworth goes back to remote learning, the students may miss some of the hands-on experience offered in the program.