Back to School, in March?


Nathaniel Baluda and Anna Peters

Very soon, Terra Linda High School will be opening up for the first time in  a year. This is a historic moment, but things will be very different than they were before. The new model is called “Hybrid Learning”, and that’s apt because it is truly a hybrid between virtual and in-person learning.

 Back in December, students chose whether they wanted to return to hybrid learning classes or stay remote for the rest of the school year. Now, the amount of students in each category is split somewhat evenly–meaning the classes will be quite small in the classroom. Many more safety restrictions will be in place, and classes will have different schedules. However, they will be running at the same time as remote classes. How this will work out is still being figured out among teachers and staff.

The model of hybrid learning currently has changed the schedule significantly. Currently two classes are present in person per day and two remotely, alternating each day between the 4 periods. The schedule has been slightly modified to accommodate for hybrid students to have more time to go on and off campus; classes are generally 10-15 minutes later in start time than they were before.

Students have a wide array of opinions on the subject. Ronan Fleming, a student who will be going back in person says, “It seems like it potentially could work well, because of how it is not bringing everyone back to school at the same time. I feel safe going to school as long as we are taking the necessary precautions.” Fleming has little regret behind this decision and thinks it is better for education. “If people start getting sick and I have the choice I would probably go back to remote, but now, I feel like I can engage more in hybrid than in remote.” 

Other students’ opinions are not so similar. Some are very wary of the idea of Hybrid Learning. Two students concrete in staying remote are Lucas Valdes and Aaron Moore. Moore says, “From what I’ve heard hybrid learning isn’t that good. I want to go back to school but not in the middle of the school year.” Valdes says “I view hybrid learning as an unnecessary risk. I think schools will be safe to reopen around December 2021, to January 2022. If we have to go back to school then yeah, but otherwise I would always choose to stay remote.”

Teachers have their own opinions on the subject as well. English teacher Karen Arcangelo says, “I think it’s the best we can do right now. I have some worries and concerns about how it will work with people at home and some in the classroom. I think it’s good we have the opportunity, but there will be challenges.” On the subject of safety, she says “I think we will need to remind kids, but we have done practices and drills. There is a routine we need to get used to, and we need reminders, but I think we will be safe.” On its benefits, she adds, “I think there are many students that need to be in person with their learning and their teachers. If a student is right in front of us, we can tell what we need.”

As we all can see, Hybrid Learning marks a drastic change for all of us, even students in remote learning. In its current form, it’s rather limited but the allowance of some classes to resume again marks a significant change and with the progression of the pandemic, shows that the current online school will not last forever and the first steps away back into so-called normalcy have begun.