Students Share Thoughts on Hybrid Learning


After a year of entirely virtual learning, HCPSS students are adjusting to a hybrid learning style. In this setting, students who choose to come in-person are taught at the school for two days a week and at home for the other two days.
All HCPSS schools are trying to be as safe as possible to prevent any COVID outbreaks amongst the student body. Many teachers were vaccinated prior to returning. Students over the age of 12 are given the option to be vaccinated as well. Everyone in the building must wear a mask at all times, excluding when eating or drinking.
Students have reported many positive things about hybrid learning. Many students wanted to return to school to see their friends, teachers, and classmates. However, many classes only have about six people in person on a given day.
Students seem to agree that they learn better at school rather than from a computer at home. “The way the mind works is that it’s easier to engage with another person rather than a Youtube manual or online class,” sophomore Sasha Debenedictis said.
Many students report having a lot of time to get their work done at school and overall increased motivation.
“Home is a place where you always are going to relax or have fun, so being in the school building turns on the switch in my brain that tells me I need to focus,” junior Izzy Schrieber said.
“[If virtual students decide to switch to hybrid] they’ll get their homework done at school, most likely, and be able to do stuff on the weekends and after school instead of having to stress about all the work they have to get done,” sophomore Cory Meredith said.
Some other students have mixed feelings about in person classes.
“I find it draining sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours and waking up really early,” freshman Rose Aquila said.
However, students like being able to engage with other students in the classroom, even if that number may only be three.
“I’m an extrovert so it’s easier to engage with people in person because I can see other people’s expressions and see if they are [thinking] ‘what is this?’ or ‘this is easy’ so we can figure things out,” Debenedictis explained.
“I have ADHD and in person and virtual can be both distracting and beneficial for me, but I get more work done in person and see my friends more [there],” sophomore Cindy Leader said.
While in virtual school, students could turn off their video; in person, students are face to face with their teachers.
“I get a real interaction with [my] teachers,” freshman Robert Vessey said. “Instead of just seeing them on your screen, you can get a form of connection with them.”
The faculty has ensured that they are being as safe as possible, encouraging students to use hand sanitizer, wipe down their desks, and social distance. Students are encouraged to walk on the right side of the hallway, along the grey tiles.
“I know COVID is scary but classrooms are spaced out really well,” Schrieber said.
“As long as everybody gets on their mask, and so long as if they’re eating outside for lunch and are at least socially distanced by a good amount, and everything is up to date with health codes, there is no way anybody should be getting COVID,” Debenedictis said.
Hybrid students have a simple message for students contemplating a return to the building.
“If you feel unsafe, don’t [go hybrid]. But if you feel like you could do it, then I think you should take the risk and just go for it and see how it feels,” Vessey said. “If you don’t like it, just go back.”
While the future of hybrid learning is still up in the air, it seems clear that students like having this option to go in person for school, while still having a couple days to rest at home.