Hybrid learning is the middle ground
One of the many things the coronavirus pandemic has taught me is this: I don’t hate school nearly as much as I led myself to believe. A week into online learning in mid-March had me missing school more than I thought was possible.
In a perfect world, I’d absolutely love to go back to school. I’d be able to see my friends and teachers that I have missed very much. But we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. Just because things have slowly started to open up does not mean COVID-19 has miraculously disappeared.
During the San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s Board of Education meeting on June 23, the board discussed three proposed schedules for the fall semester. The first option is having students return to campus five days a week, for six and a half hours a day. The second option is a hybrid schedule that includes in-person classes and remote learning. The third option is full-time remote learning, similar to what students did from mid-March to the end of the school year.
According to the district survey, 39.7% of students prefer the hybrid schedule, including me.Under this schedule, students would be going back to in-person classes two days a week, allowing us to see our friends and learn from our teachers in person at a safe distance.
Splitting up students into group A and group B, and having each group come to school on a different day would allow there to be fewer students on campus at all times, which in turn lets us practice social distancing better than if the whole student body of nearly 3,000 returned to the five-day schedule we are all accustomed to.
I found online learning very difficult and easy to dismiss at times. I was barely able to focus on lectures most of the time. And if I’m going to be completely honest, I did not put my best effort into assignments. I have a feeling many other students would agree with me.
That being said, a hybrid schedule can keep me and other students in check because two times a week we will still be going to in-person classes, where I personally find myself more engaged and committed to learning.
Since a hybrid schedule is already half way online, it’s also easy for students who don’t feel comfortable returning to adapt full-time remote learning. Teachers will already have lesson plans for remote learning. It would be a less drastic measure to stay home from a hybrid schedule then it would be to stay home from a full-time schedule.
Most parents are fighting for the first option of the sample schedules, having students completely return to campus as if nothing is wrong. But that option simply doesn’t seem safe and feasible seeing the number of COVID-19 cases constantly rising in the US and especially the Bay Area.
Taking the hybrid approach would be safer than fully returning to school on campus, but it can still appease parents’ desires of having their kids back for in-person instruction. This option would be the best one that pleases the most people, while still taking safety measures against the virus.