Questions still remain for how, when high school students will return for face-to-face instruction Revised hybrid plan outlines operations if additional grade levels resume in-person learning

The hybrid model planned to execute on March one is the first plan to ever be approved by both Clark County School District (CCSD) as well as in agreement with Clark County Education Association (CCEA). “I have a nephew in 2nd-grade right now, and I haven’t seen him in his classes a lot but I have seen him get really stressed over turning in homework,” junior Gabrielle Bagtas said. Art Credit: Julia Jauregui

As of March 1, students from Pre-K to 3rd grade will return to in-person schooling in the hybrid model. This leaves many questions for the rest of the elementary, middle schoolers, as well as high school students continuing distance learning. 

“I’m worried about how well children will practice social distancing, but [at the same time,] the physical classroom is a much better learning experience than the digital classroom,” junior Gabrielle Bagtas said. 

While CCSD has stated that “throughout the second semester, the District will work to transition additional grade levels to the hybrid instructional model,” there is no set timeline yet for when those transitions will begin. 

“I am looking forward to going back to school in real-life, but I really don’t mind the distance education we are doing right now as long as public health is a concern,” Bagtas said.

One of the many questions that many students wonder is if the execution of the hybrid plan will work out. Recently, CCSD released a 246 pg. document outlining each school level’s schedule once students are approved to return to school. 

 “I took a look at the sample high school hybrid schedule and I was so confused,” junior Joshua Ly said. “It would be such a hassle to go to school for three hours, then go back home just to log-in to Google Meet for the rest of the class day.” 

While this will only apply to students in Cohorts A and B, the entire student day will be affected. Instead of the four-hour and 45 min. school days in distance learning, school will run from 8:00 a.m.-2:11 p.m., due to passing periods, the grab-and-go lunch in the morning and allowing time for students to return home to complete distance learning at the conclusion of the day. 

“I’m not sure if everyone would rather return back to in-person learning if it meant we would be off at 2:11 p.m. instead,” Ly said. “We are all so adjusted to leaving at 12:45 p.m. or 1:25 p.m. like usual. We would all have to adjust our after-school activities and even perhaps job availability due to the hybrid model.”

Additionally, transportation access will be limited. According to the guide, busses will be limited to 50% capacity. All students will be given assigned seats and the parents/guardians of bus riders will be required to conduct a wellness check prior to reporting to the bus stop.

I think in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellness, it’s beneficial to have these bus limitations and guidelines for students,” sophomore Rochelle Barrameda said. “Though, I think throughout time, these regulations may decrease depending on the fluctuation of COVID-19 cases.” 

Returning back to school leaves the ultimate question of “will it be safe?” Like all open establishments in Clark County, all employees/teachers will be required to wear face coverings at all times, social distance when possible, as well as not report to work if infected or exposed to the coronavirus. 

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“I’m hoping that by fall that we’re a little bit back to normal,” Culinary teacher Chef Michael Hadobas said. “I’ll do whatever I have to, but it will be really difficult bringing all my students into the kitchen if we have to maintain social distancing guidelines. [However,] by being in [the] hybrid model, it will be more realistic to maintain those guidelines and bring those students into the kitchen in small groups.”

In regards to after-school activities, clubs will remain online as well as office hours which will continue being held virtually. 

“Although l feel like it’s hard to socially interact with everyone because we don’t get to physically meet everyone, I think running Key Club online is manageable,” Barrameda said. “We are able to host meetings virtually & still communicate with members.  I miss the ‘family-feeling’ that I would always have when I’m with my club [but being online isn’t the worst].” 

Before any decisions about how the strategy would operate with additional grade levels, the District will analyze the  pre-K to 3rd grade students who have returned to in-person schooling.

I do not believe high schoolers will be able to return to in-person schooling during this current school year,” English 12 Honors and COM 101/102 teacher Henry Castillo said. “As much as I, and many others, want to see our students, it appears time is running out for a plan for high schoolers to return. As we’re currently observing, the district is attempting to get pre-k to 3rd grade students back into the classroom [which is a complicated endeavor!].”

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