EDITORIAL: Going Hybrid Isn’t Worth It

EDITORIAL: Going Hybrid Isn't Worth It

Emma Spoonauer, Co-Editor in Chief

Believe it or not, the return to school for many FTHS students on the hybrid schedule is only a week away. Next Monday on October 19th, students will fill the halls once again, but will it be worth it? Regardless of your thoughts on whether the virus restrictions are too strict or too lenient or if you think it isn’t safe enough for students to return to school at all, the procedures that FTHS has decided to implement and how things will be run upon our return may cause much more chaos than expected. It makes you think, we would be jumping through all these hoops for what, in-person instruction?

Looking at how students will be entering the building, I have a hunch that not exactly everyone will arrive at their first block on time. For buses, only one bus at a time will be allowed to pull up to the school’s entrance and release its kids. Each individual will have to have a temperature check and present proof that they’ve completed the Daily COVID Questionnaire. Even though the students coming in on any given day will be less than half the normal amount, as a member of the FTHS School Community, you can probably imagine the crazy amount of time this will take considering the number of school buses that come to drop off students and the fact that each student will have to be individually screened and checked. For students being dropped off, they’ll have to go through the same process at a different entrance. After being checked in, all students will either wait in the gymnasium, auditorium, or cafeteria until class is set to start. The possibility that the amount of students coming in will be able to fit in those three common areas while maintaining social distancing seems slim. I expect there to be a lot of delay for students changing classes as well, since all of the hallways and stairs are one way and students have to maintain their social distance at all times.

Aside from those procedures, students will also have to wear masks at all times except for during masks breaks which time will be allotted for in Phys. Ed., Health, and Option 2/Study Hall classes. Students will also be required to sanitize their hands at the beginning of each period and use a sanitizing wipe for their work space or desk. 

If a taste of normalcy is the main reason staff and students want to learn and teach in person, is this even considered to be more normal than remote learning? The only difference with remote learning is that you’re viewing all of the material, your classmates, and teacher through a computer screen. You would be seeing the same thing if you were in class, but on the computer its just organized differently. Furthermore, in some cases teachers might be at home, meaning all of their students in school that day would have to learn via google meet anyway. Additionally, students following the hybrid schedule will be utilizing their computers just like they would remotely to get work done since the exchange of materials is prohibited. So when you look at the big picture, I think we can all agree that remote learning probably feels more normal to us then walking around school 6 feet apart from all peers and staff with a mask on. Again, this poses the question if the lengthy safety precautions and utter lack of normalcy are worth enduring all for in-person instruction. My short answer to that, as you might’ve guessed, is no.