Hybrid Schooling ModelBy Tom Dougherty
The hybrid schooling model exasperates problems
Oh, how I would hate to hold a public office right now. Worse than that, a superintendent of a school district (especially in my home state of North Carolina). Everything is running amok from COVID-19. And the hybrid schooling model for upcoming school openings won’t help anybody.
At present, nothing bodes well with public education. North Carolina, for instance, under the guidance of the governor, Roy Cooper, is considering three contingency plans for schools. A Model allows students to return to school campuses without social distancing. B Model is a hybrid schooling model. Half of the students attend school on A days, while the other half attend on B days. Each consists of a remote learning day on Wednesday, also serving as a deep cleaning day for schools. Lastly, the C Model is distance learning for the entire student body.
Gov. Cooper has given autonomy to school districts — they must decide between the B or C models. Many are opting for the C Model as COVID 19 cases are blossoming. However, some are choosing the B Model, the hybrid schooling model that produces a nightmare.
As I’ve stated before, as a grandparent of two, I’m very concerned about kids returning to school while COVID-19 still rages. I have been generally pleased with Cooper’s decisions during the pandemic. That said, he passed the buck on this one. It was a political move — if schools plan poorly, it’s not his fault. And lives are at stake.
“However, the hybrid school model provides no effective solutions. The virus is worse in some places than it was when schools closed back in the spring. As much as we don’t like it, the C Model is the best solution for now. Too much stands at risk.”
A hybrid schooling model simply isn’t safe
I wish it were, but the hybrid schooling model is flimsy.
Under a generalized hybrid plan, the student population splits in half. It’s intended to provide teachers and students enough room to distance from one another. In smaller-sized elementary classes, proper distancing is possible. However, middle and high school class sizes can reach 40 students or more. As such, proper distancing between students becomes impossible.
Adding to this, students must have their temperature taken every morning under the hybrid schooling model. Depending on the school’s size, this could mean testing 400 plus students each day. Where will students go when they are sick? Who will monitor them? How many have they infected if traveling to school by bus?
Sure, most children run less of a risk of getting sick from COVID-19 than adults, although there is some scientific information disproving that. Regardless, there remains a risk. Schools are notorious breeding grounds for germs — add COVID to the mix, and the potential risk increases.
The hybrid schooling model is simply not practical.
There are no easy answers
So much hinges on functioning schools. Students being in class and full-time means parents can work. If students cannot attend school, parents might not be able to work. Without work, the economy does not function. And in-class instruction is better than online work.
However, the hybrid school model provides no effective solutions. The virus is worse in some places than it was when schools closed back in the spring. As much as we don’t like it, the C Model is the best solution for now. Too much stands at risk.
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