Story by Sofia Alva
Associate News Editor
Photo by Ella Jayasekera
Students in Cohorts A and B have reported a significant improvement in their learning experience since the start of the new hybrid model on Thursday, April 15. According to a survey Tiger administered to 256 students, 63 percent of those in Cohorts A and B believe their learning has benefitted on the days they attend school in person.
For many students, the return to school has meant more hands-on learning.
“I really like using my hands, and it is better for me when instruction is interactive,” junior Sydney Morrow said. “In-person school is a great option because I get to write a lot more on paper and I spend less time on Zoom. I am also more encouraged to participate in class when I can physically see the teacher.”
Junior Levi Srebalus echoed this sentiment, adding that in-person learning has allowed for less distractions during class.
“When I’m in person, I’m a lot less likely to get distracted with something like my phone or other things that I would have at my disposal at home,” Srebalus said.
Throughout the transition from distance to hybrid learning, teachers have adopted several different methods of instruction for their at-home and in-person students. Many teachers have opted to keep in-person students off Zoom and project distance learning students on a screen in the front of the class. In some classes, teachers have even been able to facilitate discussion between both groups of students.
According to the survey, 75 percent of students believe that their teachers are equally prioritizing in-person and at-home students.
“My teachers have made sure to either divide up some of the instruction to both groups, or have just addressed both the Zoom class and in-person class simultaneously,” Srebalus said. “There have been minor tech hiccups, but for the most part the [teachers] were more prepared than I expected. Their teaching hasn’t changed much at all, which isn’t a bad thing.”
Students decided last August which cohort to be in, but were allowed to switch once the hybrid schedule was solidified in March. About 5 percent of students surveyed in Cohorts A and B regret returning to campus, while less than 2 percent of students in Cohort C regret remaining in distance learning. Many students who chose to remain in distance learning expressed that convenience was a determining factor in their decision.
“I chose to stay online because of my schedule,” sophomore Tia Guang said. “This year, because everything was initially online, my school schedule and club schedule sometimes are right against each other. This means that about two minutes after school I’ll sometimes join another meeting. With hybrid, that meant I may be late to some of my after school meetings [if I attended school in person].”
The hybrid schedule is set to continue until the end of the school year in June, and the 2021-2022 school year will begin completely in-person.