Why I Support Ending Hybrid Learning

Greenhill is a community built on constant communication and group work. Because of the pandemic, we have been forced to work toward a new way of communicating and engaging with each other. However, I think every student and family that opts to be on campus should be allowed to.

As a hybrid student, during the week that I am at home it is significantly more challenging to pay attention and retain information, especially in classes that are more lecture- or lab-based. While teachers are doing their best to make both in-person and online students feel included, a student in class has the educational advantage with less distractions around them, unlike the home environment.

Right now, 25% of the Upper School student body has opted to be an online learner. If Greenhill allowed for everyone that wanted to be on campus to come, I assume around 30% of students would chose to be online. I think with a better use of a space, 70% of students would be able to reap the benefits of being on campus.

Even with 70% of student on campus, health guidelines could still easily be followed. All students should still be required to wear a mask and keep a distance of six feet at all times. Areas like Rose Hall, Black Box Theater, and the Upper School Lecture Hall can be used to accommodate bigger classes.

Students joining classes via Microsoft Teams. (Graphic by Sarah Luan)

The benefits of being on campus are not only educational. As a student that has been at Greenhill for eight years and has become accustomed to the highly social learning environment within the school’s culture, the hybrid learning model makes me feel extremely isolated, and at times alone. Not seeing the other half of my grade seems extremely against one of Greenhill’s core focus on community.

Lastly, as a student-athlete, I find it frustrating that the protocols on the field and in the gym are different than those in school. I feel that if teams and coaches can practice at full capacity safely, surely students and teachers in the classroom can do the same.

Any student that is immune-compromised, has an at-risk family member or just does not feel comfortable at school potentially exposing themselves should and will have the option to go online. The rest of us should be able to return to campus.