Corona del Sol Goes Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Kathy Nicolson.

Going back to school has always been a difficult, vital adjustment. This year, that fact has become more apparent. First, students were faced with the challenge of online school and now, those who chose to return to in-person will have to adapt yet again to the hybrid schedule.

Junior Emmalyn Brinka says, “From what I know of the hybrid plan, it sounds very efficient and safe.” 

Corona is ensuring this student safety by returning with reduced class sizes to allow for social distancing in the classroom. All students and faculty will also be required to wear face masks on campus. In addition, classroom touchpoint areas, such as desks, will be disinfected at the end of every class period and bathroom touchpoint areas will be sanitized twice a day.  

Even under these strange circumstances, having the option to return to campus could have drastic effects on the educational experience of students.

“I think that school next quarter will be different because I will be more motivated to do my work because I’m not sitting in bed all week,” Brinka said. “I prefer in-person school hands down [because] it is 10 times easier to obtain the knowledge we are being taught and easier to stay focused.” 

Sarah Berrett, a Corona math teacher, shares her thoughts about the hybrid schedule. “I think that the plan does offer some benefits for other disciplines. For example, if a teacher can introduce material online through a video or some other asynchronous media, then focus on the individual academic needs of the small group of students that are in person, that would be really beneficial to the students.”

With the hybrid schedule, students will only attend in-person school for 2 days a week. They will be divided into two groups, where students with last names A-L will attend in-person Monday-Tuesday and last names M-Z will attend in-person Thursday-Friday. Wednesdays will remain asynchronous for students. The school will utilize this day to deep clean the campus.

Even with the many precautions, students and teachers alike are still concerned about going back to school in-person.

“I am the most nervous about making the transition back into in-person learning because I was finally getting used to online,” Brinka said.

Corona faculty is also presented with a new set of worries regarding teaching. 

“I think it will be really difficult to teach students that are both in front of me, as well as students that are virtual. I teach new material almost every day, and I rely on the interactions of students to guide my teaching. I think it will be harder to effectively gauge who needs help next quarter. Plus it will be harder teaching through a mask,” Berrett said.

However, for all of these concerns there are also aspects of the hybrid schedule that the faculty and student populations are looking forward to.

“I am the most excited to have somewhere to be other than my house or bedroom and to see my friends,” Brinka said.

The  face-to-face interactive aspect of school will also be returning with the hybrid schedule.

“I guess I am also excited to see my student’s faces, if only part of them. Teachers teach because we enjoy the interactions with our students. It is hard to teach to a Zoom room with 80% of the students represented by a black square,” Berrett said.

Photo by Mackenzie Keelan.