BY SABRINA GAGGIA
After a day of school filled with lectures and assignments, junior Dylan Lesieur comes home to complete homework and work on an online class.
With the current Florida rule requiring all students take at least one online class in order to graduate, Lesieur is now part of the norm. This rule applies to all freshmen who began high school this year.
Lesieur began English III online in the beginning of the school year. He set a goal for himself to complete the course before the year ends and when finished, begin a different online course; he has not yet been able to complete English.
His day ends after seventh hour because he is enrolled in an online class. During eighth hour he said he either stays in school and works on online homework or goes home and works on it there.
“It’s so stressful because even though I have the benefit of leaving school early, I keep on getting threatened by my online teacher to get kicked out of the class because I don’t always turn some assignments in,” Lesieur said.
Freshman Baldwin Suen has previously taken three online classes. He is currently taking Pre-Calculus.
“Even though it is a hard thing to balance, I make time for it,” Suen said. “I know that it’s going to help me in the future so I try to keep that in mind.”
Sophomore Ana Malagon said she endured no troubles while achieving her goal to finish online Spanish I in two months.
“It really wasn’t hard to accomplish since I did most of it during summer,” Malagon said. “It’s probably so much more hard now during school because of the seven class schedule.”
She said taking her online class was an easy, quick and effective way for earning a credit. Malagon said she chose to take Spanish I in order to complete a graduation requirement and because she felt it would be the easiest and least stressful class for her.
Malagon said she didn’t mind the online course but would rather work on paper instead of having to log on and work off of a computer.
“It is so different to go from using paper in school all day to computer work when I work, but I think once you get used to it, it’s really not that bad,” Malagon said.
Having completed Health Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE), Algebra I and II honors, Suen is working on Pre-Calculus. He said he took his first class, HOPE, for the credit and the math courses in order to advance in mathematics.
With swimming practice, school, online work and clubs he said his days are jam packed with ongoing activities.
“No matter how many online classes you take, you’re still going to have school work and daily activities whether its with family or with friends, so I choose to do one at a time but of course finish as fast as possible,” Suen said.
Suen said his life gets chaotic but he benefits from online classes because he can learn things at his own pace and re-do assignments along with using his notes during test and quizzes.
“Even though it’s so simple to cheat on online classes I try to stay above that,” Suen said. “I kind of understand why people would cheat since there’s so much going with school it’s just easier, but in reality it’s only going to hurt you not help you.”
Tania Clow, Communications Specialist for Florida Virtual School, said in an email interview that every student is unique and learns at a different pace.
“At FLVS, students work at their own pace and advance from one level to the next to achieve mastery of a subject,” Clow said. “This allows for a student to accelerate their learning, or if needed, take more time to master the course.”
Clow said any person who knowingly and willfully takes an online course or examination on behalf of another person is now a misdemeanor punishable by jail and fines.
“Academic integrity is one of the core values of Florida Virtual School,” she said. “Students with academic integrity make decisions based on ethics and values that will prepare them to be productive and ethical citizens.”