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Everything you need (and want) to know about the next phase of returning to learning

Credit: Jamani Reed, Associate Editor

As students prepare to return to in-person learning, there have been some questions floating around online forums regarding the expectations and procedures for the first phase of returning to online learning. In this article, we are going to try and clear up any misconceptions and answer FAQ’s submitted by students and parents via our Instagram (@oh42fifty) and other questions we have discovered on social media. 

Is it safe for us to go back to in-person learning?

This is up to each individual student and their family. Rest assured that the school is taking many precautions. Every hallway has been divided so traffic flow is in one direction on either side of the hallway (stay to the right as you would if you were driving). Drinking fountains are turned off throughout the entire building, however water bottle fill stations are still on and able to be used. All students and staff are required to wear an appropriate mask that covers both the nose and mouth at all times throughout the school day. The student population in the building at one time has also been limited (Groups A,B and C). 

What group am I in? 

There are three groups: Group A, Group B and Group C. Groups A and B contain students that opted in to hybrid learning while Group C is all of the students who opted to remain remote. All group C students will not be in the building, but will follow the same schedule as the students in Groups A and B. Groups A and B are split up alphabetically. Group A contains last names A-K and Group B contains last names L-Z

How often do we go to school in a week?

Every person that elected to return to hybrid learning is going to be in the building two half-days a week. Group A will attend Monday and Tuesday afternoons, and Group B will be in the building on Thursday and Friday afternoons. 

Is the schedule changing for students who are staying virtual?

Yes. The schedule is changing for every student in the district. At the high school level, school will start at 7:30 a.m. on “Go Live!” and in-person days. The new schedule will have a break in the middle of the day to allow students time to transition to the building if it is their day to attend. The new schedule will also have rearranged periods on Tuesdays and Fridays. On these days, instead of starting in 1st period, students will instead start in 8th. Every period after that will go in descending order (seventh, sixth, fifth and so on). The full schedule including times and more transportation information can be found in a note sent home by Principal Chris Grays which was sent home to students and families last Friday, Jan. 15. You can read the full letter here.

How are teachers supposed to balance two kinds of classes at once?

Teachers still teach the same amount of periods a day as they did during remote learning. In this phase, however, teachers will have students both in the building and at home simultaneously. Whatever they are doing in the classroom will be streamed to those at home via Google Meet exactly how it is done now. Every activity that is done in the classroom with students in person will also be done at home remotely by students in the opposite group or staying fully remote. Eventually, the district will be 1:1 at the high school level, so students at home and in the classroom can participate in class in a near-identical fashion. Until then there may be some discrepancy in the way lessons and activities are done. Until every student has a district-issued chromebook, teachers will have to decide how they would like to carry out certain activities within the classroom. 

For students staying remote, how are we supposed to interact with in-person students?

As alluded to in the previous question, the district will soon be 1:1 at the high school level, meaning that every high school student will have their own district administered Chromebook. Once that happens, it will be much easier to interact with students that are in the classroom if you are remote or vice versa. Those interactions will more than likely happen through mediums such as NearPod and Google Suite (Google Docs, Google Slides, etc.). 

Do I have to bring in my own Chromebook/computer?

No, you do not have to bring your own chromebook. The school will be distributing chromebooks to all hybrid students as soon as possible, so no student has to bring in their own technology. Further information about chromebook distribution will come soon from the district/school.  

Do I have to go into the school for my Lunch? 

First and foremost, there will be no lunches eaten inside the school. Food service will still be provided as it has since the school was forced to close back in March, but no hot meals will be served in the cafeteria for students to eat as they would in a normal school year. As for attendance, if you have sixth or seventh period lunch, you are expected to attend your lunch period. However, you will not be in the cafeteria. Instead, you will spend the entirety of the period in your Guided Study or Freshman Seminar classroom. This time can be used as a Study Hall for students. Students with 4th or 5th period have that same expectation if they are going to be in the building for their period. If a student has a 4th or 5th period lunch, the hybrid schedule leaves them with a lunch bookending their in-person day on certain days (see the schedule above). If a student has the transportation to do so, they may elect to not come in for their 4th or 5th lunch period. However, in order to do this, a parent or guardian must fill out a form that was sent home in an email by the District Communications Director last week. Also note that no buses will be available to pick up students who are not going to attend their lunch period. If a student doesn’t have transportation that would allow them to get to school after their lunch or leave early before their lunch, they can still attend their Freshman Seminar/Guided Study as the students in 6th and 7th period lunches are going to do. 

What do students need from their teachers to “make it” through this next phase?

Through another survey on the 42Fifty Instagram page, we have gathered some things students need from their teachers as everyone makes this transition. One of the most popular answers was understanding. Students are asking for understanding through this transition and throughout this pandemic. Whether that’s with assignments, timelines, or whatever it may be, students want understanding and a helping hand from their educators during this time. 

If you have any further questions that need answering regarding the return to learning, DM us on Instagram or “at” us on Twitter (@oh42fifty on both platforms).

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