75% capacity hybrid model allows for return to normalcy


Graphic by Gabriella Gerig '23

The 75% capacity hybrid model began on March 1. This new schedule will have remote Wednesdays and a block schedule in addition to three out of the four cohorts being in school at one time.

Students wearily open their eyes at 7:59 a.m. to grab their laptops and log on to Zoom. The distant murmur of a teacher in the background is almost inaudible as students scroll through social media in their beds. Every microphone is muted. Every camera is off. The endless days of staring at a computer melt into one another. Unfortunately, the two days of in-person school learning are not much better. Classes are less than half capacity, sometimes with as little as one or two students. The loud, bustling hallways now ring with silence. This has been the reality for a high school student during the pandemic. 

However, the recent progress in the battle against COVID-19 has increased the potential to reenter normalcy. Staples High School is currently following a transition to 75% capacity hybrid model with the creation of four new cohorts: A, C, B and F. The daily rotations have three out of the four cohorts in school at one time. Remote Wednesdays and the 80-minute class period block schedule, on the other hand, will continue. 

Personally, I have found that online school is not the most productive way to learn. There are too many distractions in a home environment.

Personally, I have found that online school is not the most productive way to learn. There are too many distractions in a home environment. Despite a teacher’s best effort, school has turned into a list of assignments with little instruction. Three days in class versus two will provide students with a more normal learning experience. It limits online classes to a day and a half a week. This will reduce stress for those who are struggling to maintain good grades in the current model. It will also help to reduce other issues more prevalent during online school, such as cheating.  

Since the start of this new model, students have seemed more engaged. Rotating between different cohorts gives students the opportunity to see different people and it makes for more active and functioning classroom settings. 

This is the first big step to revert back to a regular school schedule. Connecticut has been one of the most successful states to roll out the vaccine efficiently and effectively. This has curbed the rise of infection rates and controlled the spread of the virus. Precautions against the Coronavirus will continue to be combated within the school building. Masks are mandated and one-way directions for hallways are enforced. The school is also following strict maintenance protocols for HVAC systems and thorough sanitation methods. 

The four years spent in high school are formative ones, and they were never intended to be done in bed or on a couch. Increasing the number of students in school is an important effort to provide a conventional learning environment to all.