At the start of the 2020 school year, most schools in Colorado started with the hybrid model for getting students back into schools. The hybrid model allows teachers to see half of the students in school while the other half of students are working online. LPS split the students by their last names. When needed, LPS can shut the schools down and put all kids online. Both of these solutions are not an effective way to learn.
For Littleton Public Schools, the A-K students are in person on Mondays and Thursdays with the rest of the alphabet at home. On Tuesdays and Fridays, the L-Z students are in-person with the other students at home. On Wednesdays, all students are synchronously learning which means the teachers have all students log into Google Meets.
Jeffco Public Schools have A-L on Mondays and Tuesdays in school and the rest of the students online at home and M-Z in school on Wednesday and Thursday with the first half of the alphabet online. On Fridays, they are asynchronous which means they do their own work at home for all of their classes.
Since students are at home half of the time, they are doing homework that is assigned to them. This means that they are learning a subject and then going home to practice it. But the students only see the teachers once a week. Also, M-Z are at home on Mondays and Thursdays which means that they would have to learn the homework the day after they were supposed to get it done. This is not an effective way to learn, because some students have no time after school to do homework and then they forget about it. This means that kids are starting to fall behind and feel like they can’t catch up. Then grades start to drop and this semester has had the worst grades that Heritage has ever seen. With grades dropping, students aren’t allowed to participate in afterschool activities because they are ineligible.
On top of that, students feel that they can’t ask teachers questions because they think that when they get the answer it would then be unnecessary. Another reason is that if a student were to ask a question online everybody can hear the question and the student doesn’t want the world around them to know that they are struggling. So then, the students just don’t ask their questions, which can lead them to be learning something wrong and not know what they are doing.
Also, with students being at home, a lot of them can’t focus. They are getting distracted. For instance, students would start to get up to get water, a snack, pets are being distracting and students can’t stay focused. This makes students fall more behind. Most students have to be in a school environment to learn, but since they are sitting at home in their room or on the couch they think it is time to relax.
With the recent spike in Arapahoe County Covid cases leading to schools going fully remote, students are on their computers all day. The school day starts at 8:30 when students have to be on time to all of their classes and have a 30-minute break at lunch-time. Some students also have an off period, but spend that time doing homework that is on the computer. Some teachers are allowing students to leave the class early so that they can get up and walk around. But teachers are still assigning the same amount of homework that they would with the hybrid model, only students don’t have a day to sit and do homework. Students are then being drowned in homework. Students and teachers are also sitting in front of a computer screen for hours at a time. This is very bad for your mental and physical health.
With all of this in mind, the hybrid model and online learning model is not an effective way for students to learn. To make it a healthy way to learn, teachers could have students log into Google Meets during the in-person days and everybody gets the same amount of homework and we could learn more. This also allows students to and teachers to see each other more than just one time a week. If students are logged into the meets they can focus more when they are at home but they can’t be in the Google Meet for more than 30 minutes. If LPS decides we need to go back to online classes, then students need more than just a 5 minute break in between classes. Teachers also need to assign less homework if LPS decides to put us back at home. This will improve the mental and physical health of everybody who is involved in the classroom which will make the learning more effective.
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