4J high school students begin hybrid learning

Students who participate in the hybrid model will learn on-site for two days out of the week and online for the remaining days.

Posted: Apr 12, 2021 11:11 AM
Updated: Apr 12, 2021 5:38 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Hybrid learning began Monday for high school students in the Eugene School District 4J. This comes after a year of distance learning.

Students who participate in the hybrid model will learn on-site for two days out of the week and online for the remaining days. Those who chose to enroll in full online learning will learn at home five days a week. District leaders said that 75 to 80 percent of 4J high school students selected the hybrid model, depending on the school. Class sizes remain small.

There will be a combination of live instruction, small group work and independent learning.

KEZI 9 News talked to Dylan Bowles, a junior at Churchill High School.

“It’s a lot of new experiences,” Bowles said. “I think everybody is just trying to get used to being in school and being around more people than just your family.”

Bowles said it was nice to see friends that he is able to see often, due to the pandemic.

“I only had like 10 people in my class,” Bowles said. “That’s really different because normally there’s 20 to 25. There’s just one person for each desk. It's pretty different.”

Brooklynn Hansen, a freshman at Churchill High School, also shared her thoughts. 

“I like being back because I get to see more people,” Hansen said. “It’s weird being a freshman and having not barely ever been here before, so it’s a little bit hard finding your classes.”

She described what it was like inside the classroom Monday.

“There's assigned seating, and you’re spread apart from everybody,” Hansen said. “There’s hand sanitizer everywhere. Otherwise it's pretty similar to normal school. You can't hang out in groups though.”

Students can expect A/B days with different cohorts, so students will rotate between in-person learning and online learning. Those in hybrid and online models will have the same classes.

Wednesdays are “flex days” to focus on asynchronous class work, targeted supports and enrichment.

KEZI also talked to Andy Dey, the Director of High Schools in the 4J district.

“We're very excited to have people back,” Dey said. “I've spoken with all the schools today, and things went really well. It may feel like students have missed out on learning, and I know in many ways that's true. We're finding out that students have learned a lot of things over the course of the last year that we would have never been able to teach them, and so we look forward to hearing about those and helping folks find their way back.”

So, what’s the plan for graduation? 4J leaders said there will be an online graduation, and each school is in the process of planning an in-person event.

“We want to make sure that we have an ace in the hole so that families can get together and celebrate their seniors' accomplishments -- no matter what the county risk level is,” Dey said.

Mask-wearing and social distancing are required during in-person classes. In addition, students will have visual checks each day when they arrive at the building. There will be assigned seating for in-person learners due to contract tracing. Desks and shared areas will be sanitized after each period.

Each individual school will share its specific learning schedule.

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