While the hybrid model is temporarily on pause, students are still sounding off with their opinions on how it is working.
SJC students began the 2020-2021 school year online, as did thousands of others across the country. Through September and into October they persevered through constant Zoom calls and online assessments. Behind the scenes, Mr. Themistos (and the rest of the administrative staff) was diligently working to figure out when and how to return to school safely. After long last, in early October, Mr. Themistos got the OK and SJC moved into hybrid learning.
Many students felt optimistic and relieved about hybrid learning. Kathyrn Kelyman ’22, said that she’s “very happy to be able to see some of [her] friends and go back to school.”
After being cooped up for so long, it’s clear that the hybrid learning situation is successfully allowing students to socialize with one another, something which they clearly lacked during online learning.
Katie Monahan ’22 said she chose to go back because she “struggles paying attention at home” and while school is strange this year due to the nearly-empty hallways, she likes being able to see her friends at school again.
Liam Edmondson ‘21 went back for similar reasons, “I felt like I was becoming distracted at home and that being in the classroom would allow me better understand the content and stay on task,” Edmondson said.
In terms of COVID-19, many students again feel that the school’s safety measures are up to par. Vincent Barranca ’23 said that he’s not worried about contracting the virus because everyone wears their mask. Most students that were interviewed believed that SJC had created an environment where students can feel safe at school.
Students participating in hybrid did acknowledge they lost some benefits of online learning by returning. Claire Sligh ‘23 said, “I like learning in school more than online but when I have to go into school I lose a lot of time of free time and time to do homework.” Sligh also wishes that teachers would ease up on homework assignments, as she barely has any time for hobbies.
However, some students were more fond of online learning and even preferred this new distanced method of schooling. John Caius-Dorsey 21’ said that he likes distance learning more because, “it’s more fun.” Other students also often shared opinions on online learning with Dorsey because it is more adaptable than in school learning. Individuals are able to wake up later because they don’t have to drive to school. Maybe they can even get a workout in during a free period.
Overall, students feel SJC and its administration are doing their best to create a productive and safe learning environment at Saint John’s through the reopening of the campus during hybrid learning. Some students may want to come to school for hybrid learning while others would rather stay home, but no matter what, we are still one unified Lasallian community facing the challenges of Covid-19 together.