New hybrid model underway at high school

Freshmen Christian Peters and Olivia Ramsden do work during study hall while practicing social distancing guidelines. (Photo by Zach Trabitz)

The high school has adopted a new ABAB hybrid model instead of the previous AAZBB model as the result of a Board of Education decision.

Principal Kristin Robbins explained the district adopted this new model so that students can attend in-person school more often.

Robbins said the previous hybrid model’s all-online Wednesdays were no longer needed for deep cleaning, as the high school’s medical task force showed it did not make an impact on COVID-19 cases, and that reclaiming Wednesdays for class time was more favorable.

English teacher Beth Brendle said that while there are differing opinions among the staff, she likes the new hybrid model as she prefers to use Wednesday as a learning day instead of an independent work day.

“Some teachers loved the no Zoom day,” Brendle said. “I tended to Zoom every day, and I liked to keep everyone together, but some teachers had a work day on Wednesday.”

Freshman Sid Sivaraman said he is generally in favor of the new model and returning to school, but he gets distracted by at-home learning easily.

“I feel like at-home days got a lot worse,” Sivaraman said. “It’s more of a day off because teachers aren’t focusing much on it, and it feels like we don’t have to do a lot of work even though we do. I end up procrastinating.”

Math teacher Mark Hayman said though he likes hybrid, he preferred the old model.

“I know if everything is synchronous, students would be going from Zoom to Zoom as they went from class to class,” Hayman said. “I liked the Wednesday because it let them set their own schedule. It gave them their own pause in the week. I need to figure out how to give them that time in the new model.”

However, junior Allison Taylor said she likes the new model compared to the old one.

“I like that there’s more time in school,” Taylor said. “You get to see your teachers more often.”

Robbins said she thinks both teachers and students will benefit from the new hybrid model.

“Both groups benefit, and teachers are adjusting their original models to look at whether or not they’re doing asynchronous or synchronous learning,” Robbins said.

Brendle said an alternating Monday would improve the new model.

“At New Albany there are two groups, Tuesday-Thursday, Wednesday-Friday, and Monday would alternate,” Brendle stated. “At Bexley, the inconsistency between A and B groups is a little problematic.”

Hayman said that any students struggling with the new model should try to speak to their teachers about it.

“I don’t know if it’s one particular course, but if it is, then talk to that individual teacher,” Hayman said. “We’re all willing to figure out a process to alleviate the stress. We all understand the environment we’re in. Just reaching out to fellow students who have a working system would help, too.”

Robbins said that a survey was sent out to the student body in January for students to give feedback on the new model. she explained that while they would look at the feedback, changes are not guaranteed.

“We are not looking at adjustments to the hybrid model,” Robbins said.