Secondary schools prepare to shift to hybrid learning

Secondary schools likely to begin hybrid learning on March 15

After nearly a full year of learning material through a computer screen, students attending Medea Creek Middle School and Oak Park High School will likely soon be allowed to return to campus for hybrid learning. 

According to the district announcement, “A March 15 opening for our secondary schools is the earliest scenario that would be possible, and we cannot open any sooner than that.  This is entirely dependent on what the county case rate is next Tuesday, March 9.  If the case rate is 7.1 or higher (Purple Tier), grades 6-12 cannot open and will need to remain on DL until we move to the Red Tier.”

As of Thursday, March 4, Ventura County had a 7 day average case rate per 100,00 of 10.6. The number must drop to 7 to move to the red tier.

Students are divided up into two cohorts, A and B, which will attend school on different days to prevent a too-crowded campus. Cohort A will attend in-person school on Mondays and Tuesdays, while Cohort B will attend in-person school on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Both cohorts will remain at home on Fridays, so all students will have a maximum of two days on campus per week.

Initially, an ABBA cohort schedule was considered (as opposed to the current AABB schedule), but after having consulted with medical practitioners, it was decided that an AABB schedule would be best. This is due to the five days of “incubation” time that are given between in-person classes each week, which allow for a window for symptoms of COVID-19 to present. Contact tracing in the event of an outbreak will also be easier, as will mitigating the possible spread of disease.

Earlier in the school year, students were asked to decide whether or not they would return to in-person classes in the event of a shift to hybrid learning. Cohorts were arranged in a way that allowed siblings to be within the same cohort, so they will attend on the same days. Requests for certain cohorts were not taken into consideration. 

On days when a cohort will be at home, there will still be a level of “school connectedness and instruction,” according to OPUSD’s hybrid learning information site. MCMS students will have 20 minutes of live instruction per class each day, while OPHS students will have 30 minutes of live instruction per class per day. 

Teachers will be using a “blended learning” approach to hybrid instruction. The format for each class will be different, utilizing options such as small group work and individual or collaborative projects. 

Schedules for both middle and high school students can be found on the hybrid learning information site.