After being out of school for nearly six months, it is an understatement to say that the students of Chatham were eager to go back in person. It took plenty of time but with deep thought and dedication, the school district found a way to safely return to the high school through a hybrid schedule. Students with the last name initials of A-K would attend in-person school on A days, and the L-Z students would go on B days. Additionally, the school would have an end time of 12:35 p.m. instead of the 2:35 p.m. end time everyone was so used to. Although hybrid learning does not tend to all the student’s needs, it definitely beats having no option but to stay home. As each student has a different learning style, there is quite a bit of diversity with regards to the feedback.
Kylie Bergman, class of 2023, has had an interesting take on this year’s circumstances. She explained, “At first, I was quite skeptical about how this year would go. I did not get my hopes up because I knew this year was going to be nothing like the beginning of my Freshman year.” But for Kylie, the one thing that turned this year around for her was the new dismissal time. She felt that she had much more time on her hands to dedicate to exercising, focusing on her schoolwork, and personal time to relax. Kylie also prefers eating lunch at home, so she was excited to finally do that.
The underclassmen may be blasé about this new form of learning since they are still in their “boring” years of high school. But most seniors feel robbed of the magical senior year they had hoped for. Eve McBride, class of 2021, has had a difficult time digesting this year’s reality. This year has turned out to be one of the most challenging times in her high school career. Eve explains, “I have not been able to spend time with the entirety of my grade in about a year.” The idea that the first semester of her junior year may have been the last time she will ever see some of her classmates does not sit right with her.
Sophomores are yet to experience a full year of a normal high school experience. Olivia Shehadi, class of 2023, is indifferent to the new schedule. She says, “Although I miss seeing all my friends at school, I think I am learning the same amount as I was before the pandemic.” Olivia has been able to utilize her spare time by studying and further exploring the content she is learning in class. She also finds that staying in touch with friends is no struggle with the help of FaceTime, iMessage, and social media.
Each student seems to have their own unique take on this situation. The student’s grade, preferred type of learning, and social skills play a huge role in their opinion. Some feel that they are missing out on the fun high school experience, and others think they lucked out. But, I think everyone can agree that hybrid learning has greater benefits than asynchronous learning.