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The Coronavirus and School Why it was a good idea to go back into a hybrid learning situation

By Samira Lin

This week, students in the Worthington School district went back to school in a hybrid learning situation, which means that half the time they would be learning at home and half the time they would be at school learning with restrictions. There were many contradicting opinions on this decision, however, it is clear that transitioning into hybrid learning was the right choice.

Above: For young students especially, the remote learning plan was extremely hard, as their attention spans had trouble lasting the whole day, five days a week.

Many people had been pushing for students to go to a hybrid learning program because, simply put, students were not learning very well in the remote learning situation. It was much harder to learn remotely. For everyone, the expectation to sit at a table and stare at a screen for eight hours was absurd. Libby Alderman, a freshman at Worthington Kilbourne High School, states, " Having to learn how to navigate new online learning platforms while trying to juggle school and extracurriculars tested my patience on several occasions." She is not the only one who had trouble with the full time online learning; many students, including myself, felt stressed and had trouble with remote learning. While hybrid is not a perfect solution, it will certainly help ease stress and make students more comfortable during this uncertain time.

Ease of learning is one benefit on going into hybrid, but another is just providing education, period. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), " Just one in three school districts expected teachers to provide school instruction, track student engagement, or monitor academic progress for all students ..." during remote learning. This is an alarming statistic that shows how much learning has declined during this pandemic time. By returning to a somewhat normal learning environment, more students will have access to education, which ultimately, is the purpose of school.

Above: Lunchtime was a concern for both students and parents, but this was solved by spacing out desks in the cafeteria.

With the transition to hybrid learning, there are also parents concerned about their child's health. This is a valid concern, however, studies show that children are at low risk both for contracting the virus as well as the virus becoming fatal. " ... children and adolescents under 18 years of age account for under 7 percent of COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19-related deaths." stated the CDC. Obviously, there is no way to fully prevent the spread, but both the number of contracted cases and fatality rate are relatively low for students. While there is still many precautions that need to be taken in hybrid learning, the benefits clerly outweigh the risks.

Above: In Worthington Kilbourne High School, students are seated six feet apart, classes are smaller, and everyone is required to wear masks.

Additionally, in Florida, where schools have recently reopened, there has not been the surge of coronavirus cases that we were all expecting. According to USA Today, " ... the state's positive case count among kids ages 5 to 17 declined through late September after a peak in July." The surge that everyone was expecting when schools opened up again has so far not happened. This helps to set parents, students and teachers at ease; if the surge has not happened, than that means out precautions must be working.

Above: One more precaution taken is that students must wipe down desks before and after every class.

So while there was some controversy on going back to school in hybrid, it is clear that it was the right decision. It is much easier to learn in a hybrid environment which ultimately is what school is about. Additionally, while there is no way anyone can fully prevent the spread of COVID-19, schools are doing a phenomenal job of taking the proper precautions. Obviously, there are risks that come with doing a hybrid learning program during a pandemic; however, the benefits outweigh them by a long shot. Changing to a hybrid learning program was clearly a good choice.

Credits:

Samira Lin