How does Hybrid Model Pt.2 sound?
As Coronavirus cases take rise again due to the Omicron variant, the ABC Unified School District has sparked conversations on a variety of opinions regarding the safety of students at school. On Thursday, January 6th, 2022, an emergency board meeting was held to address the cause and the opinions of parents, students, and teachers were heard. Statements from ABC’s administration supplies the following insight to the meeting:
GHS Assistant Principal, Mr. McDonald provides, “The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the procedures on how each individual campus can handle the contact tracing, set more protocols [masks, social distancing], and discuss the precautions teachers are taking in the classrooms [plexiglass]. Prettymuch discuss where each of the schools were as far as how we are presenting our students and staff”.
District Communication officer, Mr. Scott Smith tells us, “The board heard from speakers for about three hours at the special board meeting. Since there were no action items on the agenda, no action was taken. The board did want to hear from the ABC community, and they did.”
Along with these responses, previous practices like the Hybrid Model, also known as the Block Schedule were made aware of. Here’s what the District and Gahr’s administration has to say about it:
More from Mr. Scott Smith, “Both the virtual and hybrid models of instruction we used over the past several years are no longer available to school districts. Last year, the Governor signed AB130 into law which only allows for in-person and independent study. Short-term independent study is also an option for those students who have to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.”
“We’re aligning ourselves with the CDC as far as the new protocols [quarantine periods]. From my personal understanding, I don't think a lot of the schools [ABCUSD] are wanting to go back to a Hybrid Model… students lost so much instruction; some thrive and some tune out”, says Mr. McDonald.
Gahr’s school nurse, Ms. Wafa Bennani, has been exceptionally busy attending to the exposed students and addressing concerns from parents. Here's what she has to say on the rising matter, “I was hoping that we wouldn't have returned the first week after break, but that wasn't our decision, it was the decision of the state, … now that we’re here, everyone must wear proper masks, wash their hands[thoroughly], and if one is positive or someone is sick in their family-- even if it just the slightest symptom-- they need to inform me, talk to their doctor, and quarantine.”
Thus, it seems that the most beneficial outcome to this variant would be to have in-person classes, but also hold virtual meetings going at the same time so the students who are quarantining can stay up to date and in routine with the rest of the class. This way, the students in quarantine won't miss out on much, and other health students and staff won't have to abruptly re-adapt to a virtual classroom once again.
Activities Director, Justin Velez feels that we must continue to be cautious as we move forward, “Although I feel like our students and staff are doing a great job following safety protocols, we can always improve.”