Ever since the Hybrid option has been introduced, there has been a certain dichotomy in learning. Perhaps even a trichotomy. CDL learners, Hybrid students, and Teachers have had three overlapping yet distant experiences with sometimes the same classes. At The Peak we have also felt this trichotomy, with a dropping count of participation and conflicting schedules. So, did hybrid work for you?
Ms. Kurtz’s Opinion:
My relationship with the word “hybrid” has changed forever. If you had asked me two years ago how my hybrid experience was going, I would’ve told you about my new Toyota Prius. ”What a smooth ride! So fuel efficient!” I would’ve bragged about my reduced carbon imprint. But you don’t care about my Prius. Why should you? We’ve survived a pandemic; there are greater concerns here, people! Our country’s entire system of education was upended. After a year of comprehensive distance learning, we were faced with the dilemma of re-introducing in-person school while keeping everyone safe AND providing choice. Enter hybrid, a slap-dash solution that aims to serve everyone but actually doesn’t serve anyone all that well.
It’s difficult to build community across multiple dimensions. It’s difficult to make lessons engaging when you’re not sharing physical space. It’s difficult to manage all the dang speakers, microphones, screens, and Zoom fatigue. Hybrid is difficult.
However, the optimist in me would rather focus on the positives. Many students are thinking more deeply and it translated to their writing. Perhaps the comfort of their couches and beds allowed for inspiration to take hold rather than anxiety.
With hybrid, I finally get to spend time with students IRL. It’s a lot more natural to talk about life in person than over Zoom. I’ve learned about Andy’s journey to becoming an Eagle Scout, the drama at Elena’s tea shop job, and the stories behind Brendan’s hat collection. I’m a people person, and these little conversations give me joy.
Another perk is eating lunch with my friends, the other English teachers. We chat about our favorite TV shows and make fun of Mr. Piros’s stinky fish lunches. (Really, who brings fish to school?!) But I realize my experience is not the same as yours. I’ve seen the lunch room…it’s practically empty. With all the different schedule variations, they tell me there’s a 1 in 6 chance you’re eating lunch with your friends this year. That’s no fun.
Next year will be different, though. Classrooms full of people, movement, laughter, and discussion. I dream about mock trials, book clubs, and handing kids paper swords so they can replay scenes from Romeo and Juliet. We can smell the sweetness of normality.
I hope to finish strong and help ALL of my students—Roomies and Zoomies—complete the year successfully.
Dylan Brehm’s (11th) Opinion:
I decided to do Hybrid because I felt that in part it was the right thing to do to encourage the school to go back fully in-person next year. Personally, I also found it hard to stay focused online in part because of all the flexible and comfortable advantages CDL provides. I initially thought that Hybrid was going to fall through as it did when they promised it last fall. However, education prevailed. Unfortunately, the sociability that was promised left much to be desired. As somewhat expected with the very limited capacity, I found it hard to find people and friends to talk to. From the growing silence of lunchtime and the increasing availability of spots in the Student Lot, it is clear that many students realized this and decided to remove themselves from Hybrid and return to CDL.
Within the hybrid classes themselves, there was often a disconnect between the teachers and the few students in class. Since most students were online any given day, teachers would rightly prioritize making eye contact and speaking with the little camera on the computer. However, it sometimes felt as if I was just watching my teachers do CDL. I felt this especially when a teacher would ask if we had any questions, yet not make eye-contact with the in-person students. I felt as if I would interrupt the online class by speaking up. The silence showed that my classmates thought this, too.
The online days of hybrids were even more problematic. Even with all of it’s small drawbacks, having a taste of in-person learning was enough for me to return to my online sluggishness that I first felt at the end of last school year. Although it was no fault of the teachers or even the system, it provided issues nonetheless. I believe this made the main issue of Hybrid very clear. Lack of uniformity. When the students are split up by CDL and Hybrid and then even Hybrid students are divided into two groups, it creates a lack of consistency. Every day feels disconnected from the rest because I’m with different classmates and in an entirely different environment, both physically and mentally.
While hybrid was the best we could do for now, fully in-person learning is just around the corner. I’ve never been so excited to get to school at 7:45.
Four-hundred and five. That is how many days it took for us to return to in-person learning, even if it’s just part-time for now. Even through this momentous victory, information about hybrid learning is hidden in sublinks and secondary tabs of the districts calendar. The Peak staff have made it our mission to bring all this information into one place, but also to continually update this as new information and inevitable changes unfold.
As of 4/13/21:
Students have Friday the 16th through Wednesday the 21st completely off from school. Friday is a grading day and our teachers will all be pouring over tests and assignments to get Students our quarter 3 grades. These grades will go on the transcripts as the 4×4 schedule means that every quarter is a semester credit. After the weekend, students have Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off. However, teachers will be working and practicing the new system for both in-person instruction and CDL.
The schedule for both CDL and Hybrid learning is different from the current model, however very slightly. Attendance group 1 attends school on Mondays and Thursdays, while attendance group 2 has in-person class on Tuesdays and Fridays. Hybrid students have online learning identical to CDL on the days they are not in-person. Students who choose to remain in CDL are not affected by either attendance group. All students have school from 8:30a to 2:30p. Wednesdays will remain asynchronous work days as they currently are.
For Hybrid specifically, students have between 8:00a to 8:30a to arrive at school and get to their first period class. Below is the daily schedule for both Hybrid and CDL students:
Returning to school does not mean returning to normal, pre-coronavirus, safety. According to the Beaverton school district there are safety measures that will take place before, as students enter and during school. Before coming to school everyday, students must check to see if they have a fever of 100.4°F or higher, chills, a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or a new loss of taste or smell. If a student has any of these, they are to be excluded from in-person learning and are encouraged to seek a health care provider. If the student has also had contact with anyone tested positive for Covid-19, they must quarantine for 10 days and have 24 hours with no symptoms. If the student has symptoms or has had contact, and they test positive or choose to not test, they must also quarantine for 10 days and have 24 hours with no symptoms.
Busses will be provided for all students who are 1.5 or more miles away from the school. Bus capacity will be greatly reduced. Additionally, drivers must sanitize frequently touched surfaces on the busses. If a student wants to drive themselves to school, the parking is on a first come, first serve basis. There are no parking passes to determine who gets a spot.
At school, staff will greet students as they enter Mountainside to both direct them to the correct entrance and to perform visual checks of these symptoms. If a student shows or complains of any of the key symptoms, then the student will be led and told to go into an isolated room from the other students and will be temperature checked. The student must remain there until a parent or guardian is able to take them home.
During school, face masks must be worn at all times besides eating at lunch. Bathrooms are assigned for students so that there is no bathroom too crowded. Desks will be spaced 6 feet apart and materials will be individually prepared, rather than shared. Students will move about the halls to get to their next class. Food will be provided during lunches, and students will be spread around the lunchroom and the gym to provide for proper social distancing.
COVID-19 vaccination is not required for Hybrid learning nor a COVID test if the student does not show symptoms or have contact with a positive case.
While class schedule is destined to vary greatly from class to class, it is the expectation of the district that the first half of each period is instructional learning in the form of a livestream for online students and in-person instruction for those at Mountainside. The second half of each period is supposed to be “applied learning” or personal work that deals with what was just taught. Online students and those who are in-person will have the same amount of resources and help during this time.
Other information has been provided by the Beaverton School District by means of a FAQ page. I find the High/Option schools tab to be the most relevant and helpful source.
As with any new program, these details are subject to change and evolve as everyone becomes more acclimated to both the unexpected difficulties and successes of the new model. Have patience, but don’t settle! Check this article for more updates as soon as there are any.
Quotes from students regarding hybrid/CDL as of April 16th 2021
“I’m continuing with CDL for a few reasons, but to summarize, I feel like hybrid would be pointless to me. While hybrid has been pushed in interest of giving students in person interaction with their teachers, I think it’ll be hard for teachers to balance kids on zoom and in the classroom, so I don’t think there will be much special treatment. As well as that, I wouldnt have a guarantee of any friends in my classes, and we would have to keep distance. I believe mountainside will be stricter about covid now than they were with last year’s senior graduation when many people were maskless despite the rates nearing their first peak. CDL is also comfortable and I don’t lose time in my day to transportation which I want to make use of as long as possible” – Tharusha Seagoe (11th grade)
“I chose CDL because I feel like it will fit my learning style better than hybrid will.” – Bella Williams (11th grade)
“I wanted to go back in hybrid because I think it’s going to be easier to communicate with teachers at school versus home. I feel like when I’m in person school I stay more on top of my school work and have more motivation for it.” – Mya Lewis (11th grade)
“I chose hybrid because my grades have not done as well during cdl and I feel that going back in person will help me get back on track.” – Preston Hager (12th grade)