RB adjusts to hybrid learning model


Marc Helgeson

Students singing during choir class on Tuesday, January 12th.

Liam Mathews, Editor-in-chief

After most of the first semester was conducted fully online, Riverside Brookfield High School has converted to a hybrid learning model for the second half of the year. RB previously adopted a hybrid model at the start of the second quarter, but that was shut down due to rising COVID numbers in the community, state and across the nation. That first hybrid model suffered from low student attendance, with many choosing to remain fully remote due to COVID and the fact that it was little more than remote learning inside the building, so a few key changes have been made in hopes of improving student’s experiences with in-person learning.

The new hybrid model, which began on December 5th, sees 50% students attendance each day. Students with last names beginning with A-K attend in-person on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while those in the L-Z group are in the building on Wednesdays and Fridays. Various efforts have been made to make those who choose to attend school in-person feel like they are in a normal school day, rather than doing more remote learning.

The change this semester is: continue making students feel welcomed, allow the in-person learners opportunities to learn without being on ZOOM or using a Chromebook, have in-person learners be their “breakout room”, project class screen onto the SMARTboard so in-person learners can see the faces or emojis of their classmates at home and allow for paper options when doing work.” said RB principal Dr. Héctor Freytas.

RB’s administration has taken great precautions in order to ensure that students are entering a safe environment when taking part in the hybrid model. The school has implemented the  “Core Mitigating” strategies recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, consistent and correct use of masks, physical distance of six feet or more whenever possible, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfection, and contact tracing in collaboration with CCDPH. 

During the first hybrid model, 170 students attended school in-person daily, that number has increased, with 219 in the building through the first two weeks of this current one. While this is already an increase in students attending school in-person, Freytas expects more students to take part in the hybrid model as time passes.

Most students who have participated in in-person learning have enjoyed it so far. This is perhaps due to the new hybrid model, and the greater emphasis on making in-person school feel less like remote learning.

“I enjoy the hybrid model the way it is, and I appreciate that we are able to choose whether or not we go to school.” Junior, Owen Leander said.

While the current plan is to stick with the hybrid model, nothing is set in stone. Due to the ever changing COVID numbers, district superintendent Dr. Kevin Skinkis makes a decision every Friday over whether RB will remain in the hybrid model, or return to remote learning for the following week.

“We are open now, but we could go fully remote next week. We are taking this one week at a time!” said Freytas.