Schools are hoping to get back to some sort of normalcy by fall, after more than a year of anything but normal.
At SET High, School for Entrepreneurship and Technology, students are learning in a hybrid model, that is some students are learning in the classroom, some are learning from home, at the same time. But it has been a journey to get here.
“'Wow,' I think that’s the main word to sum this up, is 'wow,'” said principal Neil McCurdy of SET High. “It’s been a roller coaster.”
When schools closed on a Friday in March 2020, the following Monday, teachers were in the classrooms teaching students remotely, a virtual-only model that continued to the end of the school year. Then in October, there was a hybrid learning model, with some students in class with their teachers, some students at home. In December when COVID-19 cases were high, the school went back to virtual-only learning. In the spring, it was back to hybrid again.
“We are pretty sure things are going to go back to normal," said McCurdy "There’s a whole bunch of lessons we’ve learned...The school will forever have owl cameras in classrooms,” said McCurdy.
McCurdy said owl cameras allow students at home to feel like they are in the classroom, with natural conversations taking place. McCurdy said the cameras will be used in the fall, even when most students are back in the classroom. The cameras will facilitate learning for students who are sick and need to stay home, and students who need flex time.
It has been a journey, but McCurdy said there are some positives for students.
"The fact they love school and they’re so excited to come to school, we used to fight kids to come to school and now they appreciate it, and so I think there has been a maturing process that has happened with this generation," he said.