Students express mixed views on hybrid model

CPS offers in-person learning, most students return


The Jones administration reported over half of Jones students opted for in-person learning. However, Jones students are considering the risk and benefits based on their grade level, health and daily routine. 

Chicago Public Schools released a letter to parents setting the goal of returning to in person learning on April 19, the first day of the fourth quarter. High School students have been given the option to remain remote for the rest of this school session or participate in the new hybrid model. 

Kevin Serrano ‘21 said he opted in to see what in-person has to offer but is unsure if he will stay in-person for the remainder of the year. He wants to make sure he keeps all his options open. 

“I opted in for the sake of me,” said Serrano. “I think staying home and online would be most convenient for me but I don’t entirely know. I can’t say that 100% just because I don’t know what the structure is going to look like when I actually go back.”

Being remote hasn’t been as liberating for all students. Some students said they  struggled with finding and maintaining a routine that works for them.

“Our teachers have been pretty nice,” said India Pocius ’22.  “Some of them have been giving us more time and I hope at least the ones that have been doing it, they continue to. And I hope the ones that haven’t been start to become more lenient because this is a big jump for all of us. Some are more prepared than others. Some already had a workspace at home and others are still trying to figure it out.”

Although Pocius plans to return, she said she has unresolved concerns for how this hybrid model will work.  Also, how hybrid would affect her daily routine. 

“I’m just going with the flow at this point,” said Pocius. “I’m more concerned with what teachers are going to do because I have no clue where this is headed. There hasn’t really been any confirmation on what days will look like. I’m worried about going from learning in my bed the majority of the day, or maybe a desk in a different room, to going back to Jones for whatever days we have.”

For underclassmen there is a different dynamic and sense of urgency, in comparison to Juniors and Seniors, when it comes to returning the building. There is a similar divide in opinions but for different reasons. 

“I don’t think it’s worth going back or risking it,” said Saafya Alnaqib ‘23. “I’d say get through the summer and then have it all come back to normal in the fall, because by that time most of us will be vaccinated.” 

Alnaqib reflects an apprehensive caution that is common throughout her grade. Going back to in-person school means increasing one’s chances of being exposed to COVID-19. Along with a hesitance to go back because of increased risk of being exposed to the virus, many sophomores exhibit a disinterest at the thought of going back simply because they see no reason to.

“I think being a sophomore influences my decision in not going back,” said Alnaqib. “There’s no motivation for getting into a high school setting and getting used to it since I did that last year.”

In contrast to Alnaqib, Anissa Tharsen ‘24 said she  missed out on the “freshman” experience. .

“I’m really tired of being stuck at home. I feel like I’m missing out on everything,” said Tharsen. “I plan on going back, if I can. No one in my family is immunocompromised, and I have nowhere else to be.” 

Tharsen plans on going to in-person school, if she can. As a freshman, she has not attended a single physical class yet and has not met her teachers or fellow classmates in person.

“I don’t already have friends at school. I’ve made a few friends online, and I still talk to my friends from my old school, but I feel like it would be different if I was in class,” said Tharsen.