It has been about four months since some students have transitioned from remote learning to hybrid learning at F.A. Day Middle School. Others have opted to continue remote learning. This is a great opportunity to hear Day students on how hybrid or distance learning is going for them.
In hybrid learning, students were placed into one of two cohorts; Cohort A and Cohort B. It is a safer environment to learn in smaller groups. There were also additional safety measures put into effect. Everyone wears their masks at all times, desks and chairs are sanitized after use, students coming from different areas must take a particular route to enter and exit the building/classes, and much more. Cohort A students attend school on Monday and Tuesday mornings, whereas Cohort B students show up at school on Thursday and Friday mornings. The mornings that each cohorts is not present in school is for doing asynchronous work at home. During the afternoons, all students learn fully online at home. Wednesdays are also completely remote, meaning all Day students attend Zoom classes from home.
Julia Kammer, who is in 8th grade, said, “Hybrid learning is going great. I love getting to see some friends that I haven’t seen in a while!” She suggested an improvement that can be implemented to hybrid learning: “I would want to have more teachers on the screen, in one of my classes my teacher is on the board, but in the others, we’re just all sitting there on our different devices.” When a teacher has opted to teach entirely remote, the in-person students either join the teacher’s Zoom on their own computers, or the Zoom is projected on the board, so all students can listen to the teacher as a class.
Lyla Berton, a 6th grader, said: “I prefer in-person school, it is more of a flexible schedule.”
In distance learning, students spend their time working on asynchronous assignments during the mornings, except for Wednesdays, as everyone is entirely remote. Each day, near noon, all distance students attend a Zoom meeting to attend a distance lesson of one subject. The subjects vary each day, that way all the remote students can cover all subjects that hybrid students covered in-person. Some students don’t mind learning from home, while others don’t enjoy the experience.
Uma Katz, who is in 8th grade, said, “Remote learning is okay; I think there are advantages and disadvantages, like you don’t get to be as social as you do with normal school, but you can have your own space and feel comfortable.” Moreover, she suggested an idea that could benefit all students.“I think there should be more time to finish work in school, like I think advisory should be an extension. I really value staying on top of work, so whenever someone ensures I do I really appreciate that.”
Ava Pound, who is a distance learner in 7th grade, said: “The part that I like about online school is that you don’t really need to get ready in the morning, like you do when you are in school, and you have less work than in school, because in school we would have more work. I like going in school because I can talk to my friends and teachers”
Anusha Chakravarchy, a 6th grader, said, “You get to be in the comfort of your own home, however, you can’t see people in real life.”
In conclusion, there are pros and cons to both sides. Some prefer having their own space at home, or are pleased to be meeting their friends and teachers in-person, while others find it hard to adjust to the new environment of school and/or home.