Teachers, Students Tackle Adjustments to Hybrid Schedule

B-day+students+in+a+social+studies+class+wait+for+instructions+from+their+teacher.+Approximately+half+of+the+student+body+attends+classes+in+a+given+day.

Mason Kane

B-day students in a social studies class wait for instructions from their teacher. Approximately half of the student body attends classes in a given day.

Landon Vuagniaux, Staff Writer

Fewer students attending classes mean less-crowded hallways.

Many of Edwardsville High School’s students and teachers returned on Aug. 13 to their first in-person school day since March, but not everything is back to normal. 

Close to half of the students aren’t in class. 

Many of the other students taking part in “hybrid” learning were at home, still enjoying their last day of summer. The hybrid schedule is part of the District’s plan to keep students and teachers safe at school by minimizing contact among large groups. 

Students are put into groups A or B; people with last names beginning in A-L attend school on A days (Mondays and Wednesdays), and last names M-Z attend on B days (Tuesdays and Thursdays). On their designated days, students have a shortened school day. Days that students are home serve as online learning days. 

Such a change brings many new challenges for everyone. Teachers had to be prepared for anything: fully in-person, hybrid or remote learning.

“…There was actually quite a bit of summer preparation…,” Civics teacher Jane Hicks said.

When making plans this summer, many teachers condensed their lessons and plans by 30 percent, according to Ms. Hicks. In addition, many previously common practices have changed. For example, she can’t pass out or collect as many papers, and she cannot provide materials like scissors or glue for her students. 

“I feel, in a lot of ways, like a first year teacher,” Ms. Hicks said.

Other teachers are feeling the same way too. Most of them have had to adjust their teaching styles in some way to match the hybrid schedule. Teachers have spent hours making video lessons, going to extra meetings, redesigning their lessons and doing anything they can to benefit their students.

“It’s harder and more time consuming to teach an online class…Even though I’m teaching less material…,” said Angela VanBuskirk, the Mathematics Department Chair.

Mrs. VanBuskirk trained over the summer to prepare for online learning. However, it is still difficult for her because she feels like she’s teaching two separate courses at once.

Four days a week, Mrs. VanBuskirk has to be at school teaching in-person classes. She simultaneously provides work for her online students and helps them with any problems they may have.

Some students report enjoying hybrid schooling, while others find it complicated or confusing. 

Freshman Elaina Meznarich opted to follow the hybrid scheduling because it seemed like the least complicated option. 

“I have a harder time trying to figure out things online because half of the time I don’t have someone to actually explain it in person,” Meznarich said . “The hybrid schedule is more comfortable and less stressful not having to go to school five days a week.” 

Senior Emily Amick prefers in-school days as well. At home, she doesn’t feel as motivated to do her work unless its due date is near. As a result, she realizes she procrastinates on work that would have normally been finished in class. 

Amick also said she learns better in class when a teacher is putting information on the board. Although she prefers in-school learning, she acknowledges that online learning is getting better.

“If what’s safest is being fully online…then I’ll be okay with going fully online,” she said. “…even though it’s not the normal senior year I was hoping for, I’m going to still try to make the best out of this crazy situation and have a great senior year!”