Hybrid Learning Invites D214 Students to Return

Kamila Walus, Editor-In-Chief

Since Oct. 15,  students can return to school in person through a hybrid learning plan introduced by the district. Closely following the Cook County Department of Public Health, the D214 administration was able to create a system of hybrid learning as safely as possible. Students have designated schedules with alternating days of the week to reduce as much interaction with large crowds of other students. 

To correctly follow health guidelines due to COVID-19, students must wear a mask, stay socially distanced, and practice proper hygiene while in the building.

“I think our district has been very accommodating with allowing students to choose if they want to be remote or in person. Their flexibility with staying home or coming in really made the difference in whether or not this works well,” Sarah Ruschke, senior, said. 

As a handful of students try out hybrid learning, many of them quickly noticed the struggles of teaching virtually. 

“My teacher sometimes struggles to connect her screen to the projector, and then the sound doesn’t work. But, when it does, the people at home hear an echo. If it’s not one technological issue, it’s another,” Claudia Godinez-Chavez, senior, said. 

However, other students find learning in person as a much better experience than attending virtually. 

“For the hands-on classes where we need access to the lab or workshop, I would much rather come in person. The same thing goes for classes where I need extra support or have a lot of questions,” Ruschke said. 

With the recent rise of cases in Cook County and the confirmation of a teacher and a student at WHS testing positive for COVID-19, many students have been choosing to learn remotely instead of attending to their hybrid plan. According to attendance records, there’s been a steady decrease in the number of students who are choosing to come into the building to learn. On Oct. 15, the first day of hybrid learning, 121 students across all grade levels attended school in person. But, as of Nov. 6, only 51 students attended school in person. 

“I truly hope that we will be able to have groups of students to maintain the options that exist in our hybrid plan.  While most of our students have chosen to continue learning remotely during our initial weeks of hybrid, we also have students who truly need the resources and options that in-person learning provides and have greatly benefited from being able to return to classes on-site.  We hope that through everyone’s continued focus on following safety measures during hybrid learning, we can continue to operate with this option for all our students,” Dan Weidner, Associate Principal said.