How Exactly Will Hybrid Learning Work If Students Return To School?

A look at what could be coming to Sunrise Mountain

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Hybrid classes have been a new thought from the beginning of the school year. Students are anxious to be back in school, something we really took for granted.

Because some students learn much better having face-to-face instruction, as soon as it was allowed our school really took this new type of system into consideration.

However, hybrid classes are still a very new system that we’ve never tried before. Many students are still confused on how this will work. So how will our school run these hybrid classes?

“In the proposed hybrid model, students are placed in cohorts,” said assistant principal Ms. Ruesch. “Cohort A students would come to school on Mondays and Tuesdays, and would be completing work online the rest of the days. Cohort B would come to school Thursdays and Fridays, and would be completing work online the rest of the days. Cohort C would be completely online.”

Now that students have a basic understanding of how things will work if we do begin hybrid classes. However, there is still one thing they may be curious about. What would a normal day be like with hybrid classes?

“A Cohort A student would arrive at school, grab to-go breakfast and head to their first class,” said Ruesch. “They would remain in that class for about 90 minutes, giving teachers time for presentations, class activities, independent work, etc. During this time, teachers would also open a Google Meet session for students in Cohorts B and C. Students in Cohort A would then grab a to-go lunch and head home for their remaining two classes of the day. At that point, all 3 Cohorts will meet with the teacher together via Google Meet, just like we are now.”

One question students might be wondering is, how will teachers juggle online students and in person students? At the same time or separately?

“Some teachers may elect to teach all three groups at the same time,” said Ruesch. “They may have their live Google Meet sessions with Cohort B and C while students in the classroom are completing independent work. At passing, students will then move to their next class. Teachers will again provide direct instruction for all three groups, either at the same time or separately.”

Although it may sound complicated, our school’s administration is doing everything possible to sort out any and all questions to make sure every student and parent understands precisely how the new system will run.

Because of the pandemic, nothing can be certain. Things change almost daily which can also make it hard for our school to make future plans when they aren’t sure themselves if they will work out.

For example, juniors will be able to attend school in person to take their ACT’s next week.

This small step may mean that soon larger groups will be allowed back to school and the idea of hybrid classes will actually be implemented.

This said, what are our principal’s thought on the possible new system of hybrid classes for our school?

“That plan is going to be provided by the district and to be honest, it has changed quite a bit over the past few months,” said Sunrise Mountain High School Principal Mr. Adams. “For now, that’s all I can tell you because things change so frequently with the district. As soon as we know for sure, we will communicate that with everyone immediately.”

There will definitely have to be a lot of adaptation on everyone’s part if the new system is actually implemented but as most students want nothing more than to return to school, it may not be too hard.

Something else that students may be curious about is how will these ‘cohorts,’ mentioned by Ms. Ruesch, be chosen.

“Basically, students that elect to come to school in Cohorts A and B will attend each of their classes once every two weeks on campus,” said Ruesch. “They will still receive the majority of their assignments and instruction online through Canvas and live Google Meet sessions. The on-campus time with teachers will help students that are more visual and hands-on learners.

Aside from educational benefits, what other good things will hybrid class bring for students?

“It will also allow some limited social interactions with peers, clubs, activities and sports. The most difficult part of the proposed hybrid plan will be the calendar, as classes will rotate every week to accommodate everything.”

Although education is a very important factor in the establishing of hybrid classes, our administration has also thought about students interacting with each other again.

What this year has taught us is that as much as students may not like school, it certainly is better when you are actually there then just watching it through a screen.

Hopefully all goes well and we are allowed to return to school even if it is only for two or three days.