Junior Carly Gordon Attends School Both Virtually and In-Person For Band


Credit to Designed by Ashlynn Perez

After the outbreak of COVID-19, schools have been forced to adapt to new safety measures. This is why FHSD introduced virtual instruction this year. This in-depth package explores the difference between traditional in-person learning and learning online.

By Sophie Stachula

During the 2019-2020 school year, FHN junior Carly Gordon had a lively schedule, working hard on her honors class load, attending tournaments almost every weekend for Speech and Debate and playing her clarinet in band after school. But all of that changed for her this school year because she’s learning online. There are virtual alternatives for almost every class and activity Gordon wanted to do… but not band. She learned that the activity that she is most passionate about, and that she’s dedicated countless hours to, might not be an option. So, when faced with the possible reality of not being able to participate in band at all, what did Carly Gordon do? She found a way.

Gordon ended up working with her counselor, Brooke Prestidge, to find a way for her to go to in-person class only for band. Gordon’s schedule had to be put together a little differently than she had originally planned for to make her unique option work. 

“So, once [mainly virtual students] knew what they wanted to take in-person, then we looked at their virtual schedule to see what we could move around to make that work,” Prestidge said. “They had to have some off time in order to allow for travel to and from home to school. It was a little bit of a puzzle piece.”

Only ten to fifteen virtual students at FHN chose to do something similar to Gordon. Most schools don’t even offer this option, and Gordon has no regrets about her choice even though it was a little hectic getting her schedule sorted out.

“During this whole time when we’re trying to get in person schedules and virtual schedules together, it was a very stressful time for a lot of people,” Gordon said. “I’m glad we got something worked out.”

Prestige believes that making sure band classes are available to all students is crucial, and is glad that she is able to help students like Gordon be able to do what they want to do.

“I know that participation in the program is very important, so this is a way that kind of helps our [band] program survive. [It] also benefits all the students, not just the virtual students, but all the students to be able to practice together and learn together,” Prestige said. 

Many high school students have one extracurricular activity that they are most invested in. It’s something they’re known for, develop a reputation in and most will say that it’s a part of who they are.  Band is that activity for Gordon, which is why she had no doubts about band being something she needed to do this year, despite the challenging circumstances.

“Band is like a huge part of my identity, both within high school and out of high school, so it was really important for me to take that class,” Gordon said. “It was really just sacrificing a huge part of what I love to do or going in person for part of the day.”