A Change In Schedules
By Alyssa Cocchiola, Staff Writer
MARCH 2021 – The 2020-2021 school year at Bio-Med went through many schedule changes. The year started off with everyone learning virtually, and then switched to the hybrid schedule on Sept. 28. With hybrid, students were broken up into two groups; purple and green, and would alternate going to school physically and digitally every other week.
Starting on Feb. 1, both purple and green cohorts attended school every week, while students opting to complete the year virtually remained home. The schedules themselves remained the same, with the only difference being double the number of students. Classrooms still implement their safety precautions from the beginning of the year, like keeping distance, wearing masks and sanitizing desks after they were used.
Mady Cross, a seventh grade student, shared her thoughts on the new schedule: “Going back every week when you’re being virtual, it’s like, it’s harder to do your work. Because you’re distracted by so many things but then being back in person, you’re less distracted because the teachers will tell you if you’re getting distracted and stuff,” she explained.
Cross emphasized her preference for the new schedule, and how it helps her stay focused for longer periods of time. When being asked which schedule she preferred, she responded, “being in person.”
She explained that while she felt more productive, she also felt that being in person was less stressful than hybrid.
“I think that me being at home is more stressful because if you have a question, and the teachers are busy, like if you try to email them they won’t email you back right away,” she said.
Along with this, many students noticed class participation increasing.
“I guess I do better at physical school,” Irene Scherer, a freshman, commented. “It’s brought my grade up some. But like the actual switch I guess is — there’s just more answers. People are participating a bit more.”
Other students shared similar thoughts on the schedule.
“I like being in the classroom learning than in my room,” commented Braden Antonelli, a sophomore this year. “ Really doing in person school kind of motivated me because I was being watched by people and at home they couldn’t really monitor me and what I was doing, so it really gave me a reason to do it.”
Many students shared that being in a classroom with a teacher present makes them less likely to get off task, because they are being monitored in some capacity.
While most students seemed to agree that they enjoyed going to school in person some students shared their concerns on the subject. Sophomore Aidan Veney shared his thoughts on the safety precautions in place while combining the cohorts.
“I think it’s a bit too soon,” Veney said, referencing the switch from hybrid to all in person. “I’d rather wait until the vaccine’s out before we have everybody back. I thought hybrid was working pretty well, so it’s a bit weird.”
Veney commented that “in theory I like all back better, but lately I’ve been kinda missing hybrid a little,” and shared that he liked both in person and hybrid equally, and that they both had their perks.
The most notable split of opinion amongst students was the safety. Keira Vasbinder, a sophomore, commented that while they felt more productive during the new schedule, there was also “a lot less distancing” and that “people are a lot more lenient with cleaning things.”
When talking about her social life, Keira mentioned that it improved because of the new schedule: “Well, I have friends again so that part is nice. I actually get to see people and I’m actually using slang again.” Keira elaborated on this by saying that the social benefits could have an impact on the safety: “You know more people but that also means less distancing. So do you want to get sick or do you wanna have a friend?” This was reference to what she felt like was a choice between prioritizing one’s social life or their health. Keira stated that having more people benefited their life socially, but made her feel like the safety precautions had been impacted with more people in the building.
In an interview, Antonelli talked about his thoughts on the safety precautions.
“I think they did change but not a lot,” he said. “They did combine more people into a classroom, but they kept the sanitizing and all that the same, and the feet and distance we need the same. But, I think the only thing they really changed was putting more people into the classroom.”
Despite the health concerns, most people interviewed agreed that Bio-Med was doing everything they could to keep things safe, and seemed to feel more uncomfortable with the situation itself as opposed to how the school was handling it. Out of all the people interviewed, 71.4% of people said that they thought the safety at school was not negatively impacted by the change in schedules.
So far, the cases have not majorly increased at Bio-Med since the start of hybrid, and students have continued to learn in a familiar and welcoming environment this month.
“I really prefer one hundred percent in person. It just feels like school,” Antonelli concluded. “It didn’t really feel like school before. We had the work but it just didn’t feel like it,”