Back to … Basics?

Chaparral Returns to Hybrid Learning & Beyond

Earlier last month our beloved Chaparral High School opened back up for hybrid learning. Back to the basics of hybrid is going to school two days a week in person with your cohort, and being online the other three. Friday is an online day for everyone, although many teachers have differing expectations for how that looks. Some expect the students to be on meets on that day while others give the students a no-meet work day. During Hybrid Learning, Chaparral students from Mrs.Howard’s AP Psychology class take notes virtually. Photo courtesy of Elena Hernandez.Regardless, the hybrid learning situation is different not only by school in our district but also by teacher. This also means that about half of the students of Chaparral are online while their peers are in the classroom.

The students of Chap had varying opinions on how this semester is going so far. In a poll of Chaparral students of all grades (freshman through senior) 172 students were asked “Do you feel like you're still learning with the current hybrid situation?” 63% of students replied no while the other 37% said they still felt like they were learning. The majority of student responses to this poll stated that they felt like their teachers only paid attention to half of the students at a time, typically the in person students while the online students are ignored. “It feels like some teachers are ignoring the students online because they are focused on the others” said Sophomore Makenna Dean. In a separate poll, 187 students were asked “Did you prefer being fully online or hybrid?” 69% of students voted that they preferred being fully online while the other 31% of students voted that they preferred to be hybrid. Many of these students claimed to prefer online because there was more work time given in classes and the teachers still answered students because 100% of the students were online. “I think hybrid would be easier with a consistent schedule. Not change so much.” said Senior Kai H. However, of the students that replied they preferred hybrid they enjoyed the social aspect of hybrid. Being able to come back and see your friends is one of the perks of learning in person, a perk we as a school had not experienced in almost a year. “Personally, I liked hybrid at the beginning of the year because we didn’t have to go to meets” said Sophomore Evie Matlock.

On one last questionnaire students were asked their opinions on how their teachers were handling coming back to hybrid learning. Many of the students stated that they feel the teachers only pay attention to one group of cohorts at a time. “They either only pay attention to the online kids or they forget about them” says Junior Hanna Ryel. “My teachers only teach the students in their classroom and forget about the students online” said Senior Morgon Sidener. This just goes to show that hybrid is a learning curve, not only for teachers but also for the students.”There is just an unreasonable amount of work and I can’t go a day without feeling overwhelmed,” Freshman Jillian Axton. But ultimately the students, and the teachers, need to give each other grace and patience in this time as each of us learns to maximize our learning in this crazy times. “They are doing the best they can but there should be more leniency,” Senior Kathleen Reilly. The students of Chaparral understand that the learning curve with hybrid exists on both sides, so being understanding and lenient for each other in these difficult times.

However, the school board has proposed a new plan: going back to fully in person. The school board met on March 2 2021 to make the decision on if the students would be returning to full in person after returning from spring break. This means that after a year of COVID and having not been fully in person since this time last year, the students would get to experience a full learning experience again. Having met the board landed on the decision to go back to five day a week in person learning. “I’m ready for whatever makes school a little less stressful and allows for more fun activities for our senior year” said Senior Morgon Sidener. In a poll of 97 Chap students about 45% said they were excited to go back fully in person while 55% said they were hesitant to come back full time. Many of these students who are worried are saying that it has been a year since the last time we were all in person five days a week, this adds a lot of stress on students as it once again creates a learning curve. “I like being with friends but as far as stress goes this is going to be bad” says

Sophomore Bella Romano. However, many students are also excited to be back fully in person because we as a school do not get the same amount of interaction as we are used to. “I need it so badly! It genuinely makes me so happy to think we’re going back” states Senior Kathleen Reilly. Even though many of these students are excited to be back to a normal routine, we also have to consider the fact that we are in a worldwide pandemic. “I’m excited to see people and have some normalcy but we’re still in a pandemic” says Senior Mikayla Valdiris. Students responses to the question of “How do you feel about coming back to school full time?” Photo Credits: Elena Hernandez. Overall, the students of Chaparral are excited to be back to full in person, to have the social interaction that we all miss so much.