Views & Questions on Hybrid Model

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Angelia HP

Sep 3, 2020, 12:55:30 AM9/3/20

I would like to provide my views and questions on the switching to hybrid model for Elementary schools on 21 Sep. I have a 3rd and 6th grader in Mountain Elementary.

I am very pleased with the current full remote model for my 3rd grader, with gMeet lessons everyday and the teacher teaching in-person at least 4 days a week. His daily independent learning time is also very structured with specific tasks on what to do. He is able to interact with his teacher and classmates everyday. 

For the 6th grader, they have adopted the A & B schedule in preparation for the hybrid model. He checks into homeroom every morning, but has "in-person" teaching only 2 days a week with 3 days of independent learning. This I feel, is not utilising the time optimally for the teacher & students because: 

1. He ends up being overloaded on the 2 days that he has classes and too free on the 3 days that he doesn't. He completes his independent assignments before the morning is over. 

2. The teachers are re-teaching the classes to the 2 groups. They can definitely progress further at a better pace if they can have all the students 5 days a week. 

3. There is also confusion on when homework is due as a single due date is unfair to one group of the students who have a shorter completion time. 

4. The kids could have better interaction if they are all in class at the same time instead of on different schedule. 

With the sampling of the hybrid model based on my 6th grader, I am unconvinced that the hybrid model will be effective for either academic progress or social well-being of the kids & teachers in view of the following. 

1. Effective learning & teaching time will be reduced. Learning time will now be reduced to 2 days and teachers will have to re-teach classes each week and with actual in-person teaching, their effective time will be further reduced as they now have to be be responsible for social distance and good hygiene of about 10 active children. 

2. Children and teachers will be stressed about the social rules they have to follow and ensure. The children might think that they will be able to meet and play with friends but no, they cannot. They will for sure try to though. 

3. The risk of having to close school from just a suspect case will be stressful to everyone. We have students from not just Los Alamos, but also neighbouring counties who have higher number of cases. With the recent public health order that has relaxed the rules, we do not yet know how this is going to affect the COVID situation.

My questions on moving to the hybrid model are as follows:

1. How are the number and quality of the teachers affected? With some of our teachers being older and/or having health issues that put them at a high risk for COVID, they might opt not to go back to school. In addition to the online academy, do we have enough qualified teachers?

2. How are the HVAC systems in the schools? Mountain elementary may have new systems but with the colder months coming, can good air ventilation and circulation be assured? The effects of COVID in the colder months are unknown though medical experts have indicated that it could be worse.

3. Based on the last poll, majority of the teachers are leaning towards full remote. Should their views not be considered? 

4. Can the school board consider having LAPS stay in full remote for at least a semester and based on how academic progress is, consider extending full remote till safety of the children & staff can be better assured? This would allow teachers more time to adapt and be more effective in remote teaching rather than be in limbo, preparing for hybrid to happen in the middle of semester. This would address the top factors of academic progress,  staff well-being and children social emotional needs from the poll as most kids want to remain with their school & not switch to online academy. With the school, they are also able to attend Specials and electives such as band. 

For your consideration please. 
Thank you. 

Angelia Hoong-Price
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