Independent Study Student Evaluates Her First Semester Experience

12th grader Denize Sabucdaloa has been taking classes through Edgenuity: she shares her experience.


Lucas Law (

Students at San Pasqual are given the option to continue their education through Edgenuity.

Angel Cushman, Staff Writer

Because of the pandemic, students currently have three options to complete their schooling. The Blended Model, which is actively learning through Canvas and optionally going into school twice a week (if/when the District ever opens up campus again). Distance learning, which is the same thing, minus going into Campus. Then, there’s Independent Study where students can complete courses outside of a classroom environment through Edgenuity, a platform which students who need to make up failed courses use as well. 

I interviewed Denize Sabucdalao about her experience within Independent Study. The interview started out with the acknowledgment that this interview is quite different because we are in the middle of a pandemic. 

“Yeah, it’s definitely not something that I would’ve thought would be our senior year. Not being able to see our friends, and this being the most interaction we can have with each other. Safely, anyways,” Sabucdalao responded. 

And while social distancing is in order, as many as 150,000 thousand cases of Covid-19 surge daily due to the ongoing activities of “dinner parties and game nights” as stated by The Washington Post.

Due to the rise in cases, schools are now mostly conducted online Nationwide. Because of this, the highschool experience has definitely been altered from what it once was. Football games, school dances, after school activities and other events are now replaced with meetings on Zoom and Microsoft Teams. 

Because of this change in experience, I asked our interviewee what her experiences within online school so far were, specifically being in the Independent Study model, which seems to be the most isolating option of the three. 

“I like how flexible everything is,” Sabucdalao responds. “I can do it at my own pace, but I also have to be careful not to fall behind.” 

Sabucdalao also recognizes the flexibilities within online learning.

“I don’t always have time to be sitting at a computer for hours at a time, like I got stuff I need to do – helping out my family, stuff like that.”

It’s true that not every student has the time to be attending school in an online environment. Could that be a contributing factor to the decline in academic success in students?

According to USA Today, in high poverty schools, 1in 3 teachers report students as significantly less prepared for grade level work this year compared to last year. Class failure rates have skyrocketed, and in Los Angeles, kindergarten enrollment dropped by 6,000. Florida started the year missing 7,000.

But on the contrary, Sabucdalao stated that she completed her assignments surprisingly quickly. So, experiences could vary depending on the student. Still, that doesn’t take away from the alarming statistics of failure within the US.

Our interview ends with me asking Sabucdalao what she misses the most about not being on campus.

“You know being that it’s my senior year, I would’ve liked to go to a football game or dance at least once. But you know what I really miss? Those freaking cookies they sold in the Cafeteria.”

And she is 100 percent correct. The cookies they sold in the Cafeteria are irreplaceable.