Letter: Barrington High School is doing just fine

Posted 10/15/20

To the editor:

When we read last week's editorial, “​Where’s the rigor at BHS?,”​ we, as students, were surprised and disappointed to read such an unwarranted and misleading …

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Letter: Barrington High School is doing just fine

Posted

To the editor:

When we read last week's editorial, “​Where’s the rigor at BHS?,”​ we, as students, were surprised and disappointed to read such an unwarranted and misleading attack on our school. This year has been unlike any other, and to judge the high school so harshly just four weeks into the year seems unnecessarily critical.

In the piece, the writer claims that rigor is lacking and homework is rare. It is unreasonable to compare the current state of academics at BHS to a “normal” year, but regardless we believe our academics are still rigorous relative to other public schools in Rhode Island. Advanced Placement courses are still being offered, teachers are still in their classrooms every day pushing students to excel, and students are still being assigned hours of demanding homework each night.

While many factors culminate in this school year being different from a typical, non-pandemic year, there are a select few that have made teaching more challenging. With half of each class virtual at all times, teachers must simultaneously educate students sitting in the classroom and students who are distance learning on Zoom. Although this setup is necessary to ensure the safety of the school, teachers are now​ ​juggling technology issues and in-person teaching, which can lead to a loss in valuable class time. Despite the multitude of challenges, every faculty member continues to push themselve to the best of their ability in order to give students at BHS a strong education.

The expectation of cohesively blending in-person and hybrid/distance learning students is enough to overwhelm even the most adaptive of teachers. However, in entering this school year, we were all anticipating the need to be flexible in balancing school with the countless unique challenges that we all experience in our daily lives. This is what we have been doing and what we will continue to do, regardless of what happens to our schedule or access to the building.

Last week’s editorial accuses the teachers and administration of being apathetic about academic rigor. Worse still, it questions whether (a) teachers “want to be there,” or (b) the “administration is so focused on health and safety that academics are not the highest priority.” Unlike other districts that have had less success implementing safety protocols, we are lucky to be in the building, even if it’s only 2-3 days a week. Should BHS put less emphasis on the health and wellness of students and faculty, our education would undeniably suffer the consequences.

To assert that BHS is no longer “elite” because students have free time demonstrates a serious misunderstanding about what it means to be a student amidst a global pandemic. We have no doubt that Barrington High School is and will continue to be the pride and joy of our community, and a shining example of what a high school education should look like in Rhode Island and beyond.

Owen Crain, BHS senior

Alexandra Maddock-Mark, BHS senior

Raina Moore​, BHS senior

Jack Culton, BHS junior

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