For months, students at Avonworth have been fully virtual. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 10:15, hybrid students (except for chorus and band students) logged onto their classes and spent the day on Google Meets with their teachers. Wednesday is an asynchronous day. However, this system will change beginning on Monday, January 25th.
Most students will revert back to the hybrid model that was used for the first part of the school year. Students with last names beginning with A-K, also known as Group A, will go to school in-person on Monday and Tuesday. Group B, or students with last names beginning with L-Z, will go to school in-person on Thursday and Friday. In addition, class will start at 8 am now. And there is one more major difference between the original hybrid model and this new system.
In the original hybrid model, the days that students were not physically in school were asynchronous. There were no Google Meets to join; students were able to take the day to complete classwork on their own. In contrast, starting on Monday, students will have to join synchronous Google Meets on the days that they are not in school. Wednesdays will remain asynchronous.
So how do students feel about these changes?
A survey was sent out to several students who will be making the switch on this upcoming Monday. Names were optional, so poll results will be referenced by grade level only. Overwhelmingly, they preferred the original, asynchronous schedule. Many expressed concern about how teachers will manage to give virtual students the same learning experience as in-person students. “I’m also not thrilled about losing the extra time to do classwork,” said a senior. A sophomore said, “I am not looking forward to sitting at my desk at home for longer than I already am.”
However, one sophomore said that they are looking forward to joining synchronous online classes: “I think it will improve our learning since we are getting a form of direct instruction instead of completing assignments that can be hard to focus on and would likely get pushed off till later.”
Even though it’s going to be a big change, there are some benefits. Several people said that they are “excited to get back to a school environment” and “see [their] friends again face to face instead of through a computer screen.”
Good or bad, it’s at least a way for students to have a semi-normal school year in the face of the pandemic that has disrupted so many other parts of their lives.