New hybrid model allows more in-person interaction for students

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Photo by Astin Ramos

Freshman Jack Wells writes on a piece of paper during a Scholars Bowl meet.

Annalia Escalante, Staff Writer

After a year full of adjustments, students had to make the decision of whether or not they wanted to return back to school on Jan. 25.

We had to think through all aspects of the school day to ensure that we were following guidelines for a safe return,” said principal John Nguyen. “Everything from classroom arrangements, to passing periods, to transportation, we had to rethink literally everything about how things run day-to-day. We also wanted to make sure we were supporting our staff however we could so they could be ready to roll.  In addition, we wanted to make sure we were communicating effectively to staff, students, and parents to keep everyone on the same page. Launching a plan like this is definitely a major task that involves a lot of effort from a lot of people.”

The concern of health has been different from person-to-person. Since students will be in the building for four half days, more precautions were needed.

“For the most part, I’m not too worried about anything health wise,” said sophomore Sophia Derks. “I hope our school will do a good job on maintaining a cleaned and sanitized school. I’ve already had COVID-19 at the beginning of the year, so my immune system is a little more built up.”

Some of the biggest obstacles I feel like I’ll face are struggling to get back in the groove of in-person learning”

— Sophia Derks

With the option of hybrid or remote available, some students decided to stick to what has become their new normal.

“I chose remote because I didn’t want to make another change and have to go through another adjustment,” said junior Jai Moore.

Either choice has pros and cons. Some might find obstacles in hybrid that they don’t have in remote, and vice-versa.

“Some of the biggest obstacles I feel like I’ll face are struggling to get back in the groove of in-person learning,” Derks said. “Being online hasn’t really taught me a whole lot and I didn’t really pay attention so a big obstacle I feel ill with is failing or not doing as good as I did online.”

Moore also sees the challenges of others who have made the decision to remain remote.

“I see the obstacle of hands-on learners learning to be more of a visual learner in this setting,”  Moore said. “However, you can get past it with asking for extra help and going to office hours with questions.”

Not only are students faced with a new challenge, but so are faculty members.

 “In spite of some differing viewpoints, there were no instances of outright conflict or unwillingness to move forward with the model,”Nguyen said. “We have an awesome staff that was ready to problem solve and find ways to make this work as safely as possible.”