Westborough High students adapt to hybrid model

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By Caroline White, Contributing Writer

 Westborough High School students working at their desks in a socially distanced classroom.

A socially distanced WHS classroom.
Photo/submitted

Westborough – Due to the pandemic, many Westborough High School (WHS) students are operating on a hybrid model schedule. These students are split into the Navy and Cardinal Cohorts. Each group goes into school twice a week and has two days of asynchronous learning, with virtual classes every Friday. As confusing as this schedule may sound, the Westborough High students have adapted quickly. Of course, this model has both positive and negative aspects. While it has effectively kept COVID-19 cases in WHS to a minimum so far, the hybrid model is socially and academically challenging, many students said. 

“The worst part about the hybrid model is not being able to see all my friends since many of them are in the other cohort,” WHS senior Cole Ellison said.  

Ellison is also worried about the possibility of basketball being canceled due to COVID-19. 

“This is my final year and I was really looking forward to playing,” he said. 

Freshman Cayla Erlich agreed, noting, “I don’t get to see as many people throughout the day and I am separated from a lot of my friends due to the cohorts. The biggest thing I feel like I am missing out on as a freshman is going to football games and other school events. I think those really make the high school experience.”

Aside from the social aspect, being in and out of school is academically challenging. 

“With the hybrid model, I am having a hard time finding motivation on my away days. With no one telling me what to do like in class, oftentimes I get lost doing my work and put it off until the last minute,” freshman Abby Fielder shared.

Many students struggle with time management on their remote learning days. After all, kids are used to structure in school, and most students have little experience working through lessons on their own.

 

Challenging but positive in many ways

Although the hybrid model has been challenging, it has positive aspects as well. 

“I definitely feel safer with fewer people in school,” sophomore Casey Bruck commented. 

With only half the student body in school each day, hallways and classrooms aren’t nearly as crowded. 

“I thought that teachers and students working in the hybrid model have been doing a great job with a less than ideal situation,” history teacher Michael Chapman remarked. 

“The best part is that we can see how passionate the teachers are about teaching,” junior Emerson Waite said.

The faculty’s dedication and enthusiasm for their jobs has been especially evident this quarter through their resilient efforts to make school as safe and enjoyable as possible.

“I think Westborough High is doing the best they can and I’m happy to be going in part-time,” Elrich said. 

 

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