Hybrid Model combines in-classroom, at-home learning
The Minnesota Department of Education directed school districts to develop a hybrid learning model as a means to return students to classrooms at least part time, while striving to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with strict safety protocols. By having a combination of in-classroom learning and at-home learning via technology, we are able to divide students into smaller cohorts to reduce the chance of exposure, while still providing all students with some learning time in classrooms with teachers. The hybrid model also has specific health safety guidelines prescribed by the Minnesota Department of Health. Social distancing, face coverings, cleaning regimens are all part of our Safe Learning Spaces plan.
Here is an overview of how the EPS hybrid schedule will work:
- Classroom/Homeroom student cohorts will be divided into two groups by alphabet to keep families on the same schedule:
- Group A will learn at school on Mondays and Tuesdays, while Group B will learn at home via technology on those days.
- The groups will switch at the end of the week with Group B in school on Thursdays and Fridays, and Group A learning at home on those days.
- Wednesdays are a key day in the hybrid plan:
- It will be largely an asynchronous learning day for students, when they work independently at home on assignments and projects.
- Teachers will use this day to plan, collaborate and hold office hours to connect with students and parents.
- Custodial staff will clean and disinfect classrooms and other spaces to prepare for Group B to be in the school on Thursday.
Focus on transitions and need
There are some exceptions to the basic hybrid schedule:
- Kindergarten: To successfully transition the district’s littlest learners to doing school like a big kid, we know that having K students in schools, with teachers as much as possible is important. So the EPS hybrid model plans for kindergarteners across the district to be in classrooms four full days every week.
- Support services: Students receiving special services, such as special education students, multilingual learners, and speech, reading and math support, may have more days in classrooms than the basic hybrid schedule outlines. And we will be looking for opportunities to increase face-to-face time for other students as needs become evident. These details will be determined by student planning teams.
Launching the school year, building connections
We want to be sure the 2020-21 school year gets off to a great start, and that happens when we all connect! Watch for details to come on the following:
- Schools are finalizing back-to-school events that combine in-person and virtual opportunities for information and materials distribution, and to connect with teachers.
- There will be a special schedule for the first days of school designed to on-ramp students to the full hybrid model. Details to come!
Students in the hybrid learning model will be divided into two cohorts by the first letter of their last name.
- Students with last names beginning with letters A-K will be in the A cohort, with in-school learning on Mondays and Tuesday.
- Students with last names beginning with L-Z will be in the B cohort, with in-school learning on Thursdays and Fridays.