Highlighting Local Student Journalism

WAYNE, NJ - While students reported that this year’s hybrid schedule is effective in preventing the spread of COVID, many find it difficult to actively participate from their computers, prompting concerns for how virtual learning can impact their overall academic performance.

In an informal survey of all grade levels conducted by Wayne Hills journalism students on September 14, 2020, students offered mixed reviews of the hybrid schedule adopted by the district.

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The hybrid schedule at WHHS is a combination of virtual learning and in-person learning at school. The school has been divided into three cohorts which go to school four days a week every three weeks with Wednesday being an all virtual day for all the students.

“I have mixed feelings. I like to go to school because I like to physically be there. Doing virtual is easier because there are less students, but it is really boring.”  says sophomore John Syvertsen.

The lack of in-person interaction through Google Meets makes virtual learning seem dull and unengaging, students say.  Thus, students are finding it difficult to keep their focus and contribute to the class, especially in a house full of distractions. The student body has also begun expressing legitimate concerns about the consequences these new digital circumstances can have on their education.

“I am pretty concerned about the impact that hybrid scheduling will have on my grades this year,” said Lydia Balah, senior.  “Most of my classes seem very rushed and unorganized. By the time my teachers get the Google Meets up and running and take attendance, it feels like a quarter of the period is already gone.”

While the majority of students are still trying to navigate this new normal, some have disapproved of the hybrid schedules from the get-go.

“Hybrid learning is simply the attempt to combine hope for normalcy with the reality; it is not sufficient nor is it ideal, never mind unsafe,” sophomore Yara Shobut explained.

“Online learning is definitely something I’m still trying to get used to, but I think it’s a bit weird for everyone. Online isn’t the same learning experience as being in person. Hopefully, teachers will understand that and go a little easy, but only time will tell,”  said Mike Marron, senior.

Some students feel it’s better to be at home and staying safe while others want that in-school experience.

“I think it’s a lot better than going all virtual. I also think it’s good that we get to go to school at all. Overall, I like it and I like being able to learn with my friends,” said Siena Varano Grade 10.

“I think the Hybrid schedule is better than being all remote, and so far it hasn’t been a problem to learn from the hybrid situation. I think everyone, whether you’re at home or in school, has the ability to learn and participate in class discussions,” said Skylar Levitt 10th Grade