The Ups And Downs Of Hybrid

Two takes on the new integration of the new hybrid format of school during the COVID-19 pandemic.


As coronavirus has been present throughout the last few months, many controversial decisions have been made to accommodate the virus. Many logical decisions have been made such as ending the in person school year early last year, due to lack of testing and information on the virus. As time has gone on we have become more aware of precautions that help prevent spreading. Going back to school hybrid, is a good step in the right direction.
Although it will not work out perfectly and take some adjusting to, it allows people the opportunity to safely go back to school. Many steps will be taken to prevent the virus from spreading such as mandatory masks at all times, less students in the building, spread out seating in classrooms, and less people in the cafeteria. Those students with underlying conditions or who do not feel comfortable to come to school even with the extra precautions taken, are allowed to fully stay online.
Although classes will unfortunately look different, hopefully starting hybrid can lead into a smooth entrance back into in person classes. Many benefits come from being at school such as getting to socialize with peers, getting direct help from teachers, and more movement than just sitting in front of a computer screen. It is important for students to abide to the rules put in place to keep everyone safe and healthy and if taken seriously, hybrid school is our best shot back to normality.

The Shawnee Mission School District changed its gating criteria for hybrid school on October 2nd, which allows students to come back to school on October 26th. The student body is being divided into two groups by alphabetical order by their last name.
Coming back to school involves new responsibilities for students and teachers, such as social distancing and wearing masks. There are both pros and cons related to hybrid school and no one knows what to expect.
One of the biggest cons of hybrid is that Covid-19 is surging right now with Kansas confirming an average of 92 new cases a day. Hybrid school starts in two weeks, and Johnson County has the most confirmed cases in the state.
One of the main reasons SMSD is switching to hybrid is that students and parents are complaining that they miss normal school and miss having a routine. There are lots of inconveniences that are involved with online school, but those inconveniences are necessary for the safety of our students and teachers . Another drawback of hybrid school is the learning curve for both teachers and students. Most teachers were just getting used to Webex and online school, and now they will have to balance online and in person school at the same time. Students are also finally getting used to online school, but what most forget to realize is that changing to hybrid school isn’t cutting down on the amount of work teachers are giving out, it’s just changing the location of where the work is getting done.
With the chances of someone at SMS getting the virus being high, an outbreak is likely. The halls aren’t big enough to stay six feet apart and neither are most classrooms, even with the school being at half capacity. If there is an outbreak, other activities like winter sports, clubs, and finally getting back to normal life could all be in jeopardy.