Hybrid Model Keeps Students Connected to Dimond

After almost exactly one year of online learning, students are finally returning to in-person classes at Dimond High. 

However, with the threat of another Covid outbreak constantly looming, many students are still at home, learning online.

To bridge the gap between remaining completely online and going back to school, the ASD has mandated a new style of class.

The new template, known as the Hybrid Model, allows students to work online concurrently with their class, while having weekly Wednesday check-in classes to speak with teachers.

However, according to Dimond High Counselor Jennifer Buck, “The daily schedule for hybrid students can vary. We have a separate Zoom schedule for Wednesdays.”

However, as Buck said, “Some teachers are offering live Zoom classes the other four days of the week. In this case, Wednesday’s are still available to live Zoom, but may be used as a support/ check in opportunity.

“Because this process is so teacher specific, it’s best for students to check in directly with their teacher regarding their Zoom schedule,” Buck advised.

This all leads to the question, are more students choosing to finish off the year at Dimond, or have they decided to stick at home? 

“From what the counselors are telling me, that more kids are leaving and going Hybrid.” said Andrea Holt, Dimond’s assistant principal for curriculum.

In terms of raw data, the number of students switching between in-class and hybrid classes is not inconsequential.

“As of right now I can tell you we have 1,024 students who are in-person. So we’ve got about 250-300 students who are doing that Hybrid model.

“So we actually have 394 students in Hybrid,” Holt added, which is up from the beginning of the quarter when Hybrid had 128 students.

However, not all of that spike in the Hybrid count may be due to students switching over from in-school.

“Not all of these kids might have left in-person to come to Hybrid. Some of them might have left ASD Virtual to come to Hybrid if that makes sense,” Holt said.

The Hybrid model is also being used to prepare for potential Covid

outbreaks at Dimond, preparing students to switch class style if they are quarantined.

Holt said, “The other thing about hybrid is, [the District] knew they needed some way for kids to still stay in touch if their class gets quarantined, or if the student has to be quarantined.

“For example, if a kid is in person and then say they had dinner with grandma or an aunt or uncle and somebody in the family has been exposed, and now they have to quarantine, while they’re waiting for test results they can go Hybrid for that week or so while their quarantine and then come back to in-person,” Holt added.

However, just because a student is learning at home or is temporarily quarantined does not mean they will get actual Zoom classes every day.

Holt said, “With that Hybrid model, the only thing kids have to do is report on Wednesdays. However, some teachers have said  ‘I want to live Zoom and live teach simultaneously, so can I require my kids to be in Zoom Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. And the answer we got from Secondary [the ASD] was you can.

“So some are requiring that, some are not.” 

In the end, however, while the Hybrid model in its current form is not perfect, it is allowing students to work at Dimond almost every day, without the risk of catching or transmitting Covid to their families or fellow students. 

As Buck said, “I think with any major shift in the system there is a learning curve. As we embark on week two of this quarter, I think students have and will continue to get used to the new way of teaching/ learning.”