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Delay of hybrid instruction sparks Bruin discourse

While some students expressed their displeasure for continuing the distance learning instruction for another two weeks, most Bruins shared their support for the district’s decision. Photo by Maya Bussinger

With the announcement that students will not be returning to school for hybrid schedule until Feb. 1, Bruins voice their criticism and support for the district’s decision.

Principal Christopher Roberts sent out an email on Monday, January 11 to students and parents presenting that the long-awaited in-person schooling will resume on the first of February. 

“We have been working closely with county officials and the public health department to track COVID-19 cases across the county and within our organizations,” the email stated. “With the continued spiking of community spread across the county, and the anticipation of that spiking to continue through the coming weeks, the district has elected to continue with its pause of Hybrid Instruction and will continue with Distance learning through the end of this month. Our new target for a return to Hybrid instruction is Monday, February 1st.”

Previously, students have expressed their desire to return to school for hybrid as soon as possible, and some continue to hold that wish.

“In my opinion, no, [extending the distance learning period wasn’t the best idea]. I think students need to be back in school as soon as possible,” said Senior Klaire Wolford.

“In my opinion, distance learning is hurting the students way more than it’s protecting them and the grades at our school is proving that theory,” said fellow Senior Morgan Gillis. “I understand that some people prefer distance learning but I think hybrid should still be an option since most of us would rather go in for school.”

However, some students voiced their support for the district’s decision.

“I think that extending the distance learning model is a good idea as of right now,” said Junior Leilani Sauvageau. “I think with [case] numbers going up it’s more safe for the students.”

“I think it’s the best plan because COVID-19 has been going up, and it’s nice to make sure everything is secure before we are officially ready to go back,” said Junior Mariah Crandall.

“I think whether or not distance learning is extended should depend on what’s best in the long run,” said Senior Noah Dunhower. “It’s important to protect everyone from COVID, while also providing the best experience and education possible for students — something that has been fairly lacking for many of us. While we should try to be better safe than sorry, most of us rely on some interaction to keep us going. I think there are ways to compromise that would fulfill both needs.”

He continued to elaborate on what a good compromise would look like.

“I believe a good compromise would be to allow certain classes to take place on campus, while others stay online,” he said. “I’m sure most of us wouldn’t mind keeping English or math on Zoom, and being able to have things like performing arts, AG, and other programs back in person would help bring back some culture to BR.”

Students are still given the option to remain at full distance learning or return to a Hybrid instruction schedule where they will be on campus two days a week with their designated cohort.  

Multiple Bruins shared their feelings about returning back to school, most of them wishing to return to a hybrid schedule. 

“Yes, I’m excited to go back, but I really do wish we had real schooling with no social distancing, masks, and I could meet the other half of my classmates,” said Freshman Emma Wolf.

Some students find that learning becomes more difficult with the distance learning model and would prefer to return to Hybrid learning for that reason.

“I believe I will be going to hybrid,” said Crandall. “It’s best for me because I have a hard time learning at home by myself in this environment. I have never thought of my room as a work space, more of a place to relax after I have … [nothing] to take care of, so I tend to not even think about work even while I’m in school.”

“As soon as hybrid is back, I will be attending because distance learning is an extremely difficult way for me to learn and I have a lot of trouble retaining any information that way,” said Gillis.

Sophomore Adam Degruccio, Senior Ava Graham, and Wolford described their need for social interaction that being in school provides as a motivator to return back to school. 

“I’m excited to ‘see’ my friends and looking forward to spirit days even though not a lot of people participate,” said Degruccio.

“I plan on returning to school on the hybrid because I personally need the social interaction,” said Graham.

“I really want to be in school and be able to have face-to-face interaction with teachers and students,” said Wolford.

Dunhower also expressed his wish to finish off his senior year in school.

“I’ll definitely return to hybrid if given the option,” said Dunhower. “I have no problem with keeping things safe, but I want to enjoy the end of my high school experience and be a good leader for our music program.”

On the other hand, Sophomore Kayden Magnusen explained why he doesn’t want to return on a Hybrid schedule. 

“I don’t want to go that much because I live an hour away from the school, and my parents and I don’t want to wake up at 5 a.m. just for me to go to school for three hours.” 

With the hybrid schedule returning soon, leadership students are arranging events while still keeping up with the CDC COVID-19 protocols. Junior Ana Hamilton elaborated on what leadership’s plans are so far. 

“Our hope is that when we go back to in-person schooling that we will be able to have regular spirit days, and outdoor rallies, and games,” she starts. “The enforcement of masks, social distancing even in the stands, and having a limited number of people attended should be able to prevent them from being canceled.”

Principal Roberts emphasized the safety and health of families being the number one priority of the district when making decisions.

“I don’t know a teacher or administrator in our district that doesn’t want students back on campus as soon as possible. Despite varying opinions on COVID-19, and the political form it has taken on, the #1 priority of the staff in the Nevada Joint High School District has and will always be the safety of its students and their families. People may disagree with the decisions but it doesn’t change the motive behind them.”

Annabelle Owyoung contributed to this report.

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Delay of hybrid instruction sparks Bruin discourse