D211 resumes hybrid learning

District 211 resumes the hybrid learning model on January 19 in order to give students a two-week quarantine period after winter break. According to the D211 COVID-19 dashboard, during the week of January 4, two students and one staff member reported testing positive for COVID-19, with five students experiencing COVID-like symptoms. 

Though increasing cases are concerning to some students, the district has regulations in place to mitigate the possibility of the virus spreading in school, such as the procedure for moving students who do not feel well during class. Conant principal Julie Nowak said, “When a student does not feel well, ranging from a mild headache to COVID-like symptoms, the staff have to deep clean each room that the student comes in contact with since they came to school.”

The district has put other systems in place as well, in order to make school safe for students. “The hybrid model is safe and was very carefully planned with all [Illinois Department of Public Health] regulations being followed,” Nowak said. The IDPH regulations were set as a guide for schools to follow when re-opening.

In hybrid learning, students gain more social interaction, as they can interact with their friends and teachers. Students are also able to stay after school for additional in-person support from teachers.

“Some students need a routine to follow,” Nowak said. “They need academic and social-emotional support.”

Some students have found hybrid to be more engaging than being fully remote. Christopher Hohl, ‘23, said, “Hybrid is cool; you don’t have to be in school every day, so it is not that bad. It is also better for hands-on classes, like construction and woodworking.”

With all of the positives that came with hybrid, some students still reported problems. Keiji Oshiro, ‘23, said, “I thought the hybrid scenario was going to be safe, and I was willing to go on the first day. But, one problem I had is that you can’t eat anything after breakfast, and I have to stay at the school till 1:00 which made me hungry in the 4th period.” The D211 Back to School 2020-2021 site clarifies that students can eat meals and snacks in designated areas in the school.

Additionally, when students are on site, D211 provides prepackaged breakfast available to students, along with a lunch that is available during dismissal. Even if students are not on site, they are able to pick up meals every Thursday. 

During the hybrid model, the staff has to be flexible with the unexpected challenges that they have to face. “We are always looking to improve. Building the plane as it is flying, we like to call it,” Nowak said. 

The hybrid model is currently scheduled to run until March 19, which is the last day of school before spring break. There has not yet been information regarding the schedule after that date.   

The D211 Covid-19 Dashboard has more information regarding the hybrid model.

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