GHS Turns on the Remote


Caleb Soat ‘23 and his dad Ben wearing matching hoodies for the remote day.

For the first time since in-person school was suspended in the wake of the initial COVID-19 outbreak, Galena High School went fully online for the school day on January 26. This decision was not due to a resurgence of COVID cases, but rather extreme weather. The temperatures got as low as -18 degrees. The school staff had prepared a plan in the event that the conditions were too poor, and Superintendent Tim Vincent made the final decision. 

“The decision to have a remote day was a collaborative one starting with working with the teachers and staff last year in the event we would be using a remote day,” Vincent said.  “We decided that a remote day would be possible if I am able to give teachers enough notice to send necessary technology home with all students as well as give teachers enough time to change their lesson to a remote format.”

While attendance for the primary school was down to 92%, the attendance for the middle and high schools were up to 96%. This attendance rate is actually higher than an average in-person day. As expected, the change of pace led to disengagement from students. 

“The students were not as engaged as they are in-person, but they remained attentive for the most part,” said English teacher Ron Jenkins. “Microphones and cameras may have cut out at times but class proceeded as normal.”

For more hands-on classes such as PE, the switch to remote wasn’t as straightforward. While many classes can just send out their work to students online, it is harder to simulate an average class of PE from a remote setting.

“Most students were engaged while on the Google Meet,” said PE teacher Holly Niles. “We wanted to give the students time to complete a short worksheet and workout.”  “I know it would be challenging to have students workout at home with the camera on.”

Students and teachers alike see remote days as a nice alternative to snow days. Rather than having to make days up at the end of the year, the remote days count as a normal school day. The relaxed nature of remote classes can also serve as a welcome change of pace for students. 

“My remote day went very well,” said Caleb Soat ‘23. “It went by much faster than a normal day of school.”

The first remote school day of the year was a success. Students and teachers seemed to get past it with minimal problems. While it isn’t likely we will have another remote day this year, it is nice to know that it is always an option