Due to the pandemic, many Westborough High School students are operating on a hybrid model schedule. Hybrid students are split into the Navy and Cardinal Cohorts. Each group goes into school twice a week, has two days of asynchronous learning, with virtual classes on Zoom or Google Meets every Friday. As confusing as this schedule may sound, the Westborough High students have quickly adapted. Of course, this model has both positive and negative aspects. While it has effectively kept COVID-19 cases in WHS to a minimum so far, the hybrid model can be academically and socially challenging.
“The worst part about the hybrid model is not being able to see all my friends since many of them are in the other cohort,” WHS senior Cole Ellison says.
Ellison is also worried about the possibility of basketball being canceled due to the pandemic.
“This is my final year and I was really looking forward to playing,” Ellison says.
Freshman Cayla Erlich agrees, “I don’t get to see as many people throughout the day and I am separated from a lot of my friends due to the cohorts. The biggest thing I feel like I am missing out on as a freshman is going to football games and other school events. I think those really make the high school experience,” she adds.
Of course, aside from the social aspect, being in and out of school is academically challenging as well.
“Definitely the worst part of hybrid is that the teachers are giving us excess amounts of work to do at home that goes way over the time of one class period,” sophomore Casey Bruck comments. “I think teachers should really think about the workload they are giving students. Giving us a lot of work to complete in just one day can be stressful and hard to manage,” she adds.
For freshmen especially, who have already had to adjust to being in a new school with higher expectations, this change has been challenging.
“With the hybrid model, I am having a hard time finding motivation on my away days. With no one telling me what to do like in class, oftentimes I get lost doing my work and put it off until the last minute,” freshman Abby Fielder shares.
Many students struggle with time management on their remote asynchronous learning days. After all, kids are used to structure and schedules in school, and most students have little experience working through lessons on their own.
Although the hybrid model has been challenging, it has positive aspects as well.
“I definitely feel safer with fewer people in school,” Bruck comments.
With only half the student body in school at a time, the hallways and classroom aren’t nearly as crowded.
“The best part is that we can see how passionate the teachers are about teaching,” junior Emerson Waite says.
The faculty’s dedication and enthusiasm about their jobs has been especially evident this quarter through their resilient efforts to make school as safe and enjoyable as possible.
“I think Westborough High is doing the best they can and I’m happy to be going in part-time,” Elrich concludes.