School Board approves hybrid instructional models for SPMS and SPHS

Story by Sofia Alva
Associate News Editor

Photo courtesy of Abigail Silver

The School Board approved instructional hybrid learning models for SPMS and SPHS for when students return to those campuses on Thursday, Apr. 8 and Thursday, Apr. 15, respectively, at a special meeting on Friday, Mar. 19. In the adopted models, students in Cohorts A and B will attend classes in-person two days a week, with Monday being an all-period, completely virtual learning day. 

Both students at SPHS and SPMS will have digital instruction days on Mondays, in-person learning for Cohort A on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and in-person learning for Cohort B on Thursdays and Fridays. On all-day Mondays — a change from SPHS’ traditional rolling block schedule — each period will be 40 minutes with one 30-minute break for lunch. Cohort C students will attend school completely online, accompanied by Cohorts A and B when it is not their turn to be on campus. 

SPHS’ in-person school day will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. with an off-campus lunch. Distance learning will begin again at 1:45 p.m. and end at 2:25 p.m. for those with seventh period. The SPMS schedule is slightly different but follows the same general structure. School will begin at 8:15 a.m. and last until 12:40 p.m., after which students will eat lunch off-campus. 

Both the middle and high school have been in the process of selecting a model for the past several weeks. In their presentations, SPHS Principal Janet Anderson and SPMS Principal Cheryl Busick emphasized that the hybrid model decision-making process was collaborative, including the thoughts and opinions of all SPUSD staff. 

“[I made] sure everybody had a voice and was heard,” Busick said. “And everyone was on board with weighing in their interest to support the decision to move forward to your [the school board’s] consideration. Everyone had the opportunity to discuss and email which is how we came up with the model we are sharing today.”

Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Christiane Gervais and Technology Integration Specialist Chad Bryant also gave a presentation at the meeting about their work to help teachers learn how to accommodate both at home and in-person students when they return to school. 

“Our goal in developing the instructional support guide for teachers is to take all of the instructional strategies and practices they had prior to distance learning, and also taking all of the new instructional strategies they learned in distance learning, and bringing those together to meet the needs of students at home and at school,” Gervais said. 

The specific format and delivery of in-person instruction will be up to each individual teacher, and more details will be discussed at town-hall forums hosted by the SPHS and SPMS PTSA the week of Monday, March 22. The SPHS forum, open to both parents and students, will be held on Mar. 22 at 7:15 p.m.

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