Students deserve a better hybrid plan


Ali Beatty

We need a better hybrid learning plan to make in-person learning worthwhile.

Liam Mathews and Ava Kopecky

It’s no secret that finding a good way to conduct school this year has been difficult. School can’t be normal during this pandemic, and there isn’t one right or wrong answer for what it should be. RB has gone back and forth between hybrid models and remote learning. Currently, we’re trying a new hybrid model which sees up to 50% student attendance from Tuesday through Friday. While this model has worked well enough so far, it still feels like those who designed it lacked student input.

Attending in-person school two days a week is certainly an improvement from the previous hybrid model, in which students were only in the building one day per week. But due to low student participation in this plan, it still isn’t nearly as close to normal school as it can be. Members of RB’s administration, teachers, and even some parents seem to be under the illusion that so few students are taking part in the hybrid model simply because of fears over COVID, and while that does certainly account for a large portion of RB’s fully-remote learners, we’d be willing to bet that a larger percentage of that group isn’t attending school in-person just because they don’t think it’s worth it.

The school day ends so early primarily because it would be difficult for students to eat lunch in school while following safety guidelines. While some changes would certainly have to be made in order for students to safely eat lunch in the building, we believe that it is possible. We have a fairly large cafeteria at RB. Add the Field House, the Main and East Gyms, and that should be more than enough room for students to eat lunch in school while maintaining six feet of distance.

Even if that isn’t enough room, there are almost definitely empty classrooms where students could eat, and once the weather gets warmer, it would be possible for some students to eat outside. Eating lunch in school would surely increase the number of students taking part in the hybrid plan, as well as making school in general much better. There would have to be a lot of planning to make sure students could safely eat lunch in the building, but we believe that it could be done, and would be a great improvement from the current hybrid model.

Part of why current and past hybrid models have failed seems to be the school board’s attempts to please everyone. While they have certainly worked very hard to get a good learning model together, the school board needs to pick a side and stick with it. All of the past plans have made too much of an effort to appease teachers who don’t want students in the building, and parents who demand that we have in-person school. Because of the board’s efforts to appeal to both of these groups, it feels like students’ opinions were never heard in the first place.

As students, we don’t believe that this model of learning is giving us the education we deserve, or are capable of getting. The school board needs to hold our opinions in higher regard, and come up with a plan that gets us the best education possible. You can’t say that we are getting anything close to a normal education when school ends at 12:35 each day. That’s simply false. Letting students eat lunch in the building would open the door for a normal school day ending at 3:05, which would, without a doubt, bring us much closer to getting the education we deserve.

Doing school entirely remote is completely inferior to normal school in every way possible. Each day we log on for our 35-minute class periods to only be greeted by blank screens and busy work. Many teachers have gone above and beyond to try to adapt and change their curriculum in order to teach their students the best possible way they can, and it has not gone unnoticed. However, for some activities and some subjects, we cannot possibly be instructed in the same way we could be in person.

The toll remote learning has taken on students is evident as well. We are missing out on our high school experience, sports seasons, homecoming, prom, and even graduation. Freshmen don’t get to experience their first year of high school, and seniors don’t get to enjoy their last. Sophomores and juniors have little to no preparation for college admission exams, and are left wondering how their score this year will turn out compared to last year. The students need closure, and need an education plan that the school can stick to, and works for everyone.

The entire Clarion staff contributed to this editorial. The 2020-21 Clarion staff includes:

Editors: Liam Mathews, Azu Gama, Ava Kopecky, Paul Proteau, Ciaran Mathews, Olivia O’Donnell, Chloe Floros, Ethan Taylor, John Shay, Quinn Palermo, Jacob Rogoz, Billy Kraft, Ali Beatty and Emily Ryan

Staff Reporters: Mali Downing, Carmen Guerrero, Sophia Gutierrez, Reana Hummel, Alexis Leone, J Mencke, Damon Morg, Ana Nava, Sofia Ortiz, Kelly Ryan, Hannah Sales, Sadie Springer, Peter Vasquez, Ella Westel and Julian Zamora