HPHS To Use Hybrid Model When On-Campus Instruction Resumes

Highland Park High School plans to utilize a hybrid model of instruction students return to the building Sept. 8. 

Specifically, the high school outlined in a newsletter sent to parents a plan in which half of the students who chose in-person instruction would be on campus at one time each school day and would alternate days on campus. As we previously reported, the district plans to begin with an emergency closure schedule starting Aug. 20, and resume on-campus instruction Sept. 8.

“When students are not in attendance, they will still follow their regular brick and mortar schedule but log in to follow along virtually,” the newsletter read. “Students will alternate their in-person attendance each day, with half attending school on A days and the other half attending on B days. This will result in 3 days of in-person instruction one week and two days the following week.”

Students will reportedly be split according to the alphabet to take into consideration families with multiple students. There will still be full-time remote instruction for students who choose that option.

“We believe the hybrid model captures the best of both worlds by allowing us to offer in-person learning while maximizing social distancing. We think it is critical for our students to be able to interact with their teachers and classmates while at the same reducing class-sizes,” the newsletter read.

The district extended the period for parents of high school students only to declare their preference for in-person or remote learning until noon August 11. Declarations may be changed up until the deadline.

The Texas Education Agency’s latest guidance allows high schools to utilize a hybrid model after on-campus instruction resumes.

New Highland Park High School principal Jeremy Gilbert also detailed in a video posted to the district’s YouTube channel how the campus will attempt to maximize and encourage social distancing when on-campus instruction resumes.

“One area that has been a topic of concern…has been the safety measures that we are putting in place in our cafeteria,” Gilbert said.

Those measures include Plexiglass partitions at each table as a barrier between students while they’re eating lunch, allowing juniors and seniors to go home for lunch, thus reducing the number of students in the cafeteria, and providing students the option to pre-order their meals using the Nutrislice app.

He added that the hybrid model allows students participating in extracurricular activities the option of attending rehearsals or practices each day, and some students with special needs will be allowed to attend school in person five days per week.

Gilbert said as part of the emergency closure schedule, which the district will start the school year on, high school students will be required to check in virtually for class periods during the day, and the school day will include both synchronous, or or real-time, live instruction between teachers and students, and asynchronous class periods.

He said students must submit one lesson or response each day to be considered present during the time of emergency closure.

“We will be taking attendance each class period,” Gilbert continued.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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