“These quarantines were putting students who have done no wrong out of school for 14 days,” Blessing said. “We really do see the detrimental impact of that.”
The hybrid model will “significantly reduce” the number of close contacts students would have with one another and with staff by reducing the number of students on buses, in classrooms, hallways, and the dining hall, she said. That also reduces the number of students that would require quarantine should there be a positive COVID case, Blessing said.
The high school has more than 1,500 students, of which more than 300 already have opted for an entirely at-home learning model. The more than 1,200 remaining students learning in the building will be split into two groups under the hybrid learning model. Students whose last name starts with A-K will attend school in-person on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while students whose last name start with L-Z will attend school in-person on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The two days students are not in the school building and Mondays for all students will be remote learning days. Not all of the at-home assignments will be virtual or digital. Teachers will work with students that do not have a device or reliable internet access at home with alternatives to any required digital assignment.
Blessing said the district will get to have two full weeks of the new learning model, followed by a truncated two-day week the week of Thanksgiving. Then school will go back to the same configuration until Dec. 18, followed by a two week-winter break.
Students on Mondays will be to pick up weekly grab-and-go meals from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for the remaining days they are not at school, Blessing said.