Hybrid learning

The Blue Valley School District high schools switched to a hybrid learning model on Oct. 5. Allowing half of the student body to be in the school building at a time.

Senior Ethan Hunt said the hybrid learning model has caused a reduction in stress and anxiety levels across the student body. He attributed this reduction to the human interaction that hybrid learning provides, both with teachers and peers. Hunt said getting to see people in the halls and in classes has made him enjoy school more so far this year.

“I think I’ve been less stressed now because I learn better when the teacher is teaching in front of me,” Hunt said. “I think it is more efficient and easier for students to learn this way.”

Narahari attributed her reduction in stress levels to the routine that she has been able to establish with hybrid learning.

“I feel a lot more like myself,” Narahari said. “The interest I have toward learning and my motivation to get assignments done is a lot better. Hybrid has improved my stress levels and I am able to manage my time better.”

While these students and staff members believe the hybrid model is an improvement from online learning, they agreed it is still not the ideal school situation.

Noltemeyer said she does not believe hybrid is as efficient of a learning system as full-time, in-person learning is for students.

“I don’t think we’ve figured out how to do it right, but I think it could be,” Noltemeyer said.

Larson and Noltemeyer both said they have noticed that students are receiving more school work than in years past.

“I feel like people, in general, seem a little calmer and more rested, but I think the amount of work that any average student is dealing with right now is overwhelming,” Noltemeyer said.

In order to minimize the negative effects of a heavy course load on students, Noltemeyer said teachers need to be more understanding of the circumstances. She added that teachers need to think as a whole group in terms of the effect they are having on the mental health of students.

Narahari recognized the fact that having up to half of the student population back in the building at once increases health concerns.

In order to maintain the early success of hybrid learning, Hunt said we all need to continue to do our part to keep everyone safe. He said this includes wearing masks, sanitizing frequently and following the one-way hallway directions.

As a BVNW community, Noltemeyer said, “We need to adopt flexibility as our new motto. We have to let go of what used to be, and we have to embrace that there is something new coming.”