Hybrid Hysteria

The risks of returning to school are just too high to ignore.

Mia Harley, Reporter

Do you remember the last time you were in a classroom? March 12 seems like so long ago.

Now, as of December 9, over 286,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, with over 20,000 being from California. Our lives have been disrupted, and simple enjoyments like going to the movies or a concert seem like a lifetime ago.

In November, however, our PVPUSD administration sent out an email stating that plans were being made to return students to the classrooms for in-person learning using a hybrid model system.

Hybrid education combines online learning with limited in-person instruction from a classroom. Students would be broken into small groups and have the ability to attend school in-person for a few hours a week. The theory behind hybrid learning is that it gives students the opportunity to return to school at a minimal basis for those who chose to. 

The question this raises, however, is if hybrid learning will be a better option than online education for PVHS students.

First, there is risk of infection and spreading COVID-19 with family and friends. Dr. Leana Wen, a professor at George Washington University stated that, during the week before Thanksgiving, about 144,000 children were infected.

If the county of Los Angeles thought it necessary to stop outdoor restaurant dining due to the recent rise in infection cases, how could it be safe to be inside a classroom? 

Illustration by Alycen Kim

Secondly, would hybrid learning really be better for students? A hybrid classroom doesn’t appear to be a very comfortable learning environment.

Hybrid learning has been used by many schools in the U.S. since August. We have seen images of masked students with plexi-glass dividers, staring at their computer screen while a teacher, wearing a mask and a face shield, tries to teach both students in the classroom and at home. Students are required to keep six feet apart so, although they may be able to see each other, they cannot really interact.

For now, I believe that online learning is the best option to both ensure the safety of both students and teachers, as well as optimize the amount of time used for education.