Hybrid Model Poses Hybrid Opinions

After a long summer of meticulous planning for the school year, the Scarsdale High School administration has finally had a chance to see their plan in action. SHS has returned to its busy atmosphere, but students are now rushing through the hallways from class to class wearing masks, while teachers are adapting to teaching while remaining only in the front of their classrooms. 

Desks are six feet apart as a result of social distancing guidelines. (Maroon Staff)

Scarsdale High School students have a myriad of opinions on the topic of hybrid learning now that they have had the opportunity to experience it firsthand. Several students prefer having the flexibility that hybrid learning provides, by allowing them to take classes from the comfort of their own homes and plan their school days accordingly. Others enjoy that hybrid learning has resulted in a majority of teachers becoming more organized, as they tend to preview their lesson plans and homework assignments for each week on Google Classroom. As a result, students are able to more effectively manage their time and develop a better understanding of how their week will play out. Additionally, most students agree that the hybrid model allows them to experience their electives to a greater extent than a fully online model would permit. “I prefer hybrid to all online because this year I’m doing hot glass and jewelry and we are not allowed to bring glass home, so at least I can do some interesting glass projects on the days we go into school in-person,” stated Eliana Zitrin 22. Lastly, a highlight of the hybrid model is that it allows students to get more sleep, thereby allowing them to be more attentive and engaged in their classes.

However, at the same time, many are questioning whether the limited time in-person is productive enough to make the hybrid model worthwhile. “Initially, I was excited to go to school for at least half of the time we used to because I like the thought of getting as much in-person time as possible; however, I realized that the in-person time is very little (only one period per class in a week) and is arguably too little for face-to-face learning to be effective,” commented Sara Wong 22. Furthermore, prior to the school’s reopening, it seemed that the most compelling part of having a hybrid model was the opportunity for social interaction. However, after only a few weeks of hybrid learning, some students are already starting to realize that this new way of in-person learning makes it difficult to connect with peers. “The social aspect of hybrid which I initially looked forward to was somewhat disappointing as I’m now unable to stop and talk with friends in the hall or even go out of the school during a free to get lunch with friends,” said Wong 22. As a result, social interactions for students are limited to waving in hallways, minimally conversing during compatible frees, and seeing select friends during classes.

The halls of SHS are a lot quieter than usual. (Maroon Staff)

Virtual only students have various opinions regarding the remote model as well. Several virtual students find that it is often hard to participate in class as teachers are normally more attentive to the students in front of them. Nevertheless, teachers and deans have effectively worked to battle this expected drawback of virtual learning. “Most of my teachers have put a good amount of thought into the setup and logistics of live-streaming and participating in class. I have one teacher who actually set up specific office hours for virtual students so that we would have more opportunity to ask clarifying questions on the content covered in class. My dean also set up a Zoom for all the virtual students to check-in and make sure that everything was going smoothly,” said Maggie Peng 22. Another drawback is that, although virtual students have more control over their time, it is hard for them to feel motivated as they spend the large majority of their days on a computer in the same location. Many also reported feeling disconnected from their classmates or friends, but feel more comfortable participating in fully virtual learning in terms of coronavirus.

Overall, it is clear that students, both hybrid and fully virtual, have different viewpoints on the school year thus far. Above all, students agree that Scarsdale has worked tirelessly to plan for this school year and are looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year has to offer.