Hybrid learning

After months of deliberation, Perry Township makes the switch to an alternative schedule

Students+in+Jamie+Marshall%27s+Spanish+class+sit+six+feet+away+from+each+other.+Students+must+stay+socially+distanced+due+to+COVID-19.+

Emma Main

Students in Jamie Marshall’s Spanish class sit six feet away from each other. Students must stay socially distanced due to COVID-19.

Just before the scheduled start of school, staff and students at SHS found out they would be attending school in-person for two days a week, unlike the previously planned full return to school.

The format of the hybrid schedule at SHS is based upon the rate of positive COVID-19 tests in Marion County. According to Principal Brian Knight, the positivity rate is just around 9%. Secondary schools are allowed to attend school at 50% capacity when the county has a 6% to 10% positive rate. If it goes higher than that rate, SHS would have to go fully virtual.

Unlike a normal schedule, SHS is running four periods a day, and each is 90 minutes. This new schedule also limits passing period time in the halls so there is less contact among students.

“We worried that if we ran a seven-period day, that we would increase the number of people each individual comes into contact with each day,” Knight said.

The first group of kids that attend school is students with last names A through L, and the second group is students with last names from M through Z. The school district decided on choosing students to go to school by last names so sibling groups wouldn’t be separated.

“We wanted to make sure to keep families together,” Knight said.

If the district had gone by grade levels, then the classes wouldn’t have gotten smaller. According to Knight, students wouldn’t have been spaced out as the average number of students in each grade level would still be in classes.

The hybrid schedule has also caused teachers to give out all work on Friday and have all of it due by 2:30 p.m. the following Friday. This change has brought about different opinions among the staff and student body. Junior Albert Thang does not like the new schedule.

“I would rather be in school for the whole week instead of two days,” Thang said.

Science teacher Daryl Traylor feels teachers are adjusting to the schedule well.

“I feel like it’s best with the situation we’ve had,” Traylor said.