Northport High School Students Have Mixed Opinions on New Hybrid Model of School

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Ipsos

Northport-East Northport UFSD’s hybrid learning model consists of two days of in-person learning and three days of remote learning each week.

Peyton Brill, Freelancer

As the first quarter of the 2020–2021 school year comes to a close, it is clear that Northport High School students have mixed opinions on the current hybrid model. Some students fervently support the altered school structure, while others are adamantly against it. Still, another group of students accepts the modified schedule as a necessary precaution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Port Press freelancer Peyton Brill posted a survey on her personal Instagram story to collect a sample of Northport High School students’ views of hybrid learning.

Of the 99 students who responded to the survey, 48 were part of the blue cohort and 51 were part of the gold cohort. In total, six freshmen, 26 sophomores, 41  juniors, and 28 seniors responded to the survey. These statistics indicate that responses came from a diverse pool of students.

The survey first asked respondents, “How do you feel about our current school situation?” The answer varied. Some people expressed discontent with the hybrid model; reasons included difficulty in retaining information and an increase in stress. Others said they were indifferent to the hybrid model and believe that the Northport-East Northport UFSD is making the most of a tough situation. Many of these students added that school could be a lot worse than it currently is.

Next, survey respondents answered the question, “What is one thing you wish you could change about hybrid model school?” There were a few responses regarding the challenging one-way hallways which often prolong the time students spend walking between classes. Another grievance focused on the the fact that students are not permitted to access their lockers. For many, this has contributed to extra weight on their shoulders and subsequent back pain. The most common complaint, however, centered around online classes. A majority of respondents claimed that they feel unfocused and distracted when they learn remotely; some elaborated that the students at school seem to receive the most attention, and argued that teachers need to interact more with online students.

The last question on the survey may be the most pressing to school administrators: “Do you feel safe at school?” 55 (75%) of respondents answered “yes”, and 18 (25%) answered “no”. Those who selected “yes” cited the fact that each of Northport High School’s confirmed COVID cases were contracted externally. That is — at the time of the survey — no cases were transmitted in the building, but rather at private parties and sporting events. On the other hand, those who answered “no”, were primarily concerned with mask wearing. They noted that many teachers and students don’t wear their masks correctly (below the nose or mouth). These respondents commented that “mask breaks” are unnecessary and defeat the purpose of preventing the spread of germs.

As the results from the survey illustrate, the new system of school isn’t without flaws. Nonetheless, the Northport-East Northport UFSD is working tirelessly to accommodate the needs of each and every student during a global pandemic. Although it may be frustrating that only half the Northport High School student body is physically in the building on any given day, perhaps taking it slowly is the best approach. Hopefully there will be some normalcy soon.