On January 25th, Avonworth School District is returning to the hybrid model with 2 days in the classroom, 2 days virtual, and Wednesdays asynchronous. Students have varying opinions, especially surrounding Covid-19 concerns and the 8 AM start time.
“I’m happy to return to the hybrid module,” said freshman Brayden Simmons. “I don’t feel like I’ve been getting a proper education 100% online, and we need to get back to normal.” Rowen Dzubiek, a senior, had similar thoughts, “I’m excited and eager to be back to some kind of normal plan. We have been out of in person teaching for a while, and I think if we can end the year with a hybrid model for the second semester it will make it feel like somewhat of a normal year again. Although waking up at 8 am will be unfortunate, I think it will feel like the normal schedule we had last year which may also help us get back to feeling like it is a normal year.”
Some students feel less than excited. Sophomore Laurel Purcell wrote “I am not really looking forward to it. The start time will be much earlier than it is now, which means that I will have to get up earlier in order to be ready for school. In addition, I am worried about being able to effectively social distance while we are in the building. Plus, many of my teachers had to cram lots of important things into the one day a week that I saw them. […] The current online system works very well for me, although I know this isn’t the case for everyone. I enjoy having the classes recorded so I can watch them later if I am confused. I like working from my room and being able to get food and eat in class if I need. I also like how most teachers, when teaching lessons, will present their screen and have it as a large picture on my computer. […] If I feel like it, I can wake up five minutes before class and still have a productive day at school.”
Another sophomore, Grace Horigan, had similar things to say. “I’m a little nervous and kinda dreading it. I’m not hopeful that everyone is going to take proper precautions. People have started taking this virus less and less serious just because it’s been going on for a long time. When we were at school last I saw many people wear masks improperly, not distancing, and saying that they don’t believe this is actually as serious problem as everyone is making it out to be. I’m also dreading school because of the new 8 am start. I don’t mind so much for when we are physically in school, but online learning starting at 8 is going to be a struggle. It is already mentally taxing to be sitting in front of a computer for five hours so I can hardly imagine close to seven. At least in school you have a change of scenery.”
Most students, however, fell somewhere in the middle. Junior Halle Archey said she felt “bittersweet. I’m not excited in the slightest to go back at 8 am or the fact that we’re going back now when the cases are much worse now than they were last march. I’m not gonna pretend that our students follow guidelines either and I wouldn’t be surprised if we close down again before the end of the year. Overall I just look forward to going back so I can improve academics, I pay attention better in physical classes and the socialization of peers helps my mental health.”
Freshman Nathalia Bikowitz also had mixed emotions, writing that she felt “So-so. Last time we were hybrid it was so hard to learn everything and be prepared for tests […]. I really liked being in google meet 4 days a week because we didn’t feel as rushed and could sometimes leave class early because we finished that day’s unit.”
At the end of the day, we’ll be going back to the hybrid model on January 25th. We can expect a variety of feelings and changes over the coming weeks as students, faculty, and administration adjust to the change. All that’s left to do is prepare ourselves and hope for the best.