Back to (Hybrid) School

After a month of (mostly successful) remote school, our kids are going back to school, at least part-time. The local schools have moved to a hybrid model where the kids will be in school 2-3 mornings per week. It’s a tradeoff because instead of consistent remote instruction they will get the in-person experience that is such an important part of learning, but they will have fewer hours of class time than they currently do. And while we have been happy with the situation so far, we are hopeful that this change will continue to work out for our kids and for the town.

Caroline had her first days of in-person time this week and she loved it. She came out of the school beaming and it was clear that she has needed more human interaction with teachers and classmates than she has been getting. She seemed to thrive with her hours in the classroom. Hannah starts next week and hopefully it will be as positive.

The difficulty in the schedules, and part of the reason they are so complex, is that they have split the classes into two cohorts to reduce class size. They also have not figured out a way to have lunch at school because they don’t have enough space for them to spread out and take off masks to eat. So the in-person time will only be in the mornings. They will then come home mid-day for lunch and continue with online school (either remote or independant) from home.

The schedules for our kids will sound confusing and we’re still working out the details but I wanted to share the details to give a sense of the complexity.

There will now be 3 types of learning:

  • Remote – this is synchronous learning with a teacher instructing and the kids on video calls. This is what the school year has been so far.
  • In-person – this is as close to regular school as we know it. Masks, reduced class sizes, spread out desks, but in the school building with face-to-face instruction.
  • Independent – Asynchronous learning done on their own based on recordings and assigned work. This is what last spring was.

Their schedules will now be something like this on a weekly basis:

  • Monday + Tuesday
    • Caroline – independent in the morning and remote in the afternoon 1-3
    • Hannah – remote in the morning with her “non-core” classes (Chorus, Art, Health, Spanish, Engineering) from 7:45-12:30 then independent work for core classes in the afternoon
  • Wednesday
    • Caroline – alternate Wednesdays she will be in-person from 8:45-11:45, and then independant in the afternoons ending at 1:45
      Other Wednesdays Caroline is independent in the morning and remote in the afternoon 1-3
    • Hannah – remote for all classes with a shorter day 7:45-12
  • Thursday + Friday
    • Caroline – in-person 8:45-11:45, then remote in the afternoon 1-3
    • Hannah – in-person for “core” classes (Math, English, Social Studies, Science) from 7:45-12:30 then independant in the afternoon

Did you get all that? No, neither have we yet. We have paper schedules posted in the kitchen and we discuss each evening what the next day will be. It’s a little overwhelming. And we are native English speakers who are familiar with the schools and are able to take the time to sort things out.

The kids have done remarkably well so far with remote school and we are confident that they’ll do fine with the changes and transitions, but it’s a lot. We’ll continue to take it one day at a time and keep a positive attitude to try to set a good example for the kids.

Hannah’s weekly schedule

Things that went well this week:

  • Nana is out of quarantine and has been able to join us in the house when she takes breaks from unpacking her stuff
  • Caroline is starting the cello this year and has had fun with her first online lessons
  • Hannah’s ankle is improving and was able to run at soccer practice for the first time this season

Things that did not go well:

  • Pouring rain on Tuesday and Friday limited outdoor activities with friends
  • Political news is so negative, I just want to get the other side of the election
  • Covid cases in Massachusetts increased to the point that it is now coded red on the national map

Random happy find from the web:

Cute puppy photo of the week:

Caroline and Daisy doing a dance

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