In-Person Students Adjust to Hybrid


A small number of “Group E” students were given an option to return to school on March 1. Following a five-day hybrid plan, about 30 students returned to Marriotts Ridge High School on March 1st. Though students were allowed to stay virtual, a portion of students returned to school while following the safety and health guidelines.
For over a year, students have been attending school virtually due to COVID-19. As the number of covid cases decreased and vaccines became more readily available, the Board of Education approved of allowing students to safely return to the building.
“I appreciate the fact that they gave us this option to return to school. I think every kid should choose the option to go to school because it makes them become more productive again…COVID made students become lazier since we sat inside all day. So returning to school forces you to do work. You can also talk to the teachers in person, go to the gym, etc.,’’ freshman Lucas Robey said.
When lunchtime arrives, students will take a break, enjoy their lunch, or catch up with friends at socially distanced desks in the cafeteria. Although the cafeteria is the most crowded location in the building, students will sit at individual desks spaced six feet apart.
Students’ opinions on Howard County’s decision to bring students back to school varies. Some would say it is a risk to come back to school during a global pandemic. Others, like Robey, who was one of the members of Group E, would say being in the building is a great way to work without distractions.
“When you’re in a class with your teacher, not many [other] students are there in person, so they pay attention towards you [more] than the virtual students. And so you get to focus on the class more because you don’t have easy distractions, like your phone. [In-person learning] is way better, in my opinion, because you get more work done that way,’’ Robey said.
The process of reopening schools was difficult due to all of the concerns about health and safety. However, Howard County has attempted to plan the best way to ensure students and staff are safe at all times.
Joaquim Leiser, another Group E student, shared his in-person experience.
“Howard County has been doing a good job with rules of social distancing. In the halls, you have to walk on one side and the people going the opposite direction walk on the other side of the halls. The desks in the classrooms are spread out as well,” Leiser said.
As the next group, freshmen, seniors, and ARL students, prepares to join in-person hybrid learning for 1-2 days a week starting March 29, it is essential to understand what to expect during their days at school.
”We wear our masks all day except during lunch and continue to put on hand sanitizer throughout the day,’’ Spenard shared.
As more and more students return to in-person school, students wait in anticipation to see how well the next group of returning students will adapt to following new safety protocols.