District remains Hybrid despite rise in COVID-19 cases

Fine+arts+teacher+Randy+Robertson+stands+next+to+playground+during+cohort+break.+

Photo by Astin Ramos

Fine arts teacher Randy Robertson stands next to playground during cohort break.

Riley Merrick, Staff Writer

With the rise in COVID-19 cases, many schools in the Kansas City area decided to switch back to virtual learning after having a hybrid schedule for a few months. For Piper, however, the school decided to stay with the one day a week hybrid schedule. 

“Since Wyandotte County has enforced schools staying in the cohort model, and our data has shown we are being highly successful with our mitigation strategies, we wanted to keep kids in school as much as possible with minimal changes to the schedule,” said superintendent Dr. Jessica Dain. 

The school has been using the cohort hybrid schedule for almost three months now and it doesn’t look like it will be changing anytime soon. 

“Per the WYCO Executive Order, we will have to keep students in cohorts. At the elementary level, we plan to continue with the model. At the secondary level, we hope to add more half days that students will come to school, but they will have to stay in their cohorts,” Dain said. 

According to junior and hybrid student Liv Golden, students feel the cohort model is not allowing them to learn to their full potential. So, hearing that the schedule will be mostly the same next semester might be discouraging. 

“My thoughts on it differ day-by-day,” Golden said. “Sometimes I feel like it’s not effective at all, because we’re only there for three hours and don’t travel to see our teachers. Some days I feel like it really helps me to get my work done. It just depends on the day.”

It often feels like I am teaching all of the material myself”

— Marissa Warrell

Learning virtually can be frustrating and repetitive. Students are getting burnt out and feel like they are not getting the best education that they can. 

“It often feels like I am teaching all of the material myself,” said junior remote student Marissa Warrell. “I suppose that is bound to happen without face-to-face interaction but I wish there was less use of youtube videos to teach and more real class time.”

Although most of the surrounding school districts decided to go virtual after Thanksgiving break for safety reasons, the Piper school district only had a few people switch to virtual, despite the rise in cases.  

“Maybe five students in the whole district switched, not many,” Dain said. “I think parents and students know we are doing a great job.”