Student Proposal for Hybrid Learning Model to be Brought Before Board

Students%2C+parents%2C+teachers%2C+and+administrators+around+the+country+and+in+PSD+are+grappling+with+how+to+have+a+safe+school+experience.+

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Students, parents, teachers, and administrators around the country and in PSD are grappling with how to have a safe school experience.

Payton Perkins, Editor

A student proposal launched Thursday night aims to create a middle ground between hybrid learning and full remote. This proposal, Phase 2.5, comes after a Poudre School District warning about the future of hybrid learning as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

After finding myself and many of my peers frustrated with Phase 3 learning, I knew that this was my opportunity to come up with a solution.”

— Dylan Lindsey

Phase 2.5 would look similar to remote learning with a few notable exceptions. Teachers could apply for in person learning times for things such as labs, tests, and extra help on assignments. Any and all classes and activities that could be done from home would be done virtually, but crucial elements of classes would be allowed on campus.

 

Rocky Mountain student Dylan Lindsey, the creator of the proposal and a member of the PSD Board of Education Student Advisory Council, said that his motivations were the disconnect between students who wanted to remain in hybrid learning and those who felt the safer option was full remote. 

 

“After finding myself and many of my peers frustrated with Phase 3 learning,” Lindsey said, “I knew that this was my opportunity to come up with a solution.”

 

Assisted by Fossil Ridge student Mia Pillote, Lindsey created the Phase 2.5 proposal which addresses many of the issues being dealt with by students and staff in hybrid learning. 

 

“Driving a dividing line through the student body did nothing if not isolated students sixty percent of the school week,” the proposal states. “In the transition from phase two to phase three I went from seeing my A group friends virtually four days a week to not at all. For someone in B group with asynchronous work A days, Monday and Wednesday feel incredibly secluded and even lonely.”

 

The hybrid system is also under threat from rising COVID-19 cases. Students at several of PSDs high schools have been asked to quarantine after classmates tested positive for the virus. 

 

“The ripple effects of community spread are putting a strain on our ability to maintain safe environments and provide a continuity of education for all students,” Poudre School District said in an email to families on November 3. “Families should be prepared that we may have to scale back in-person learning if these concerning community conditions do not improve.” 

 

“If things continue as they are, we will release a plan to transition to remote learning, given the acceleration of the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” the PSD email stated. The school district has been in the hybrid system at the high school level for three weeks. The transition to hybrid was highly anticipated–and highly scrutinized. “This is not the direction we want to go because students do better, socially and emotionally, when they are in school.”

 

“As case rates rise though, I came to realize that Phase 3 wouldn’t last much longer and that we needed a thoughtful alternative fast,” Pillote said of her motivation to join the proposal. 

 

The proposal asserts that transmission will be less of a problem in Phase 2.5 while still maintaining a sense of community.

 

“Many students and their families do not feel safe in the learning environment offered by phase three,” the proposal states. “This is exhibited by the exponential increase in students attending PSDVirtual or choosing to leave PSD in favor of an alternative online education. Phase 2.5 respects the safety and concern of these individuals by offering a mostly online experience at their home school.”

 

“I wrote up the proposal and proposal letter and submitted it to School Board Directors Anderson and Johnson, who run the advisory board, at 1:45 am on Monday,” Lindsey said. “This was clearly a topic that kept me up at night. I presented it at the meeting Monday evening where it was very well received by my peers on the board.”

 

Lindsey and Pillote’s next move was getting the support of School Board Directors Anderson and Johnson. A Director is the only person who can add to a school board meeting agenda. Director Johnson declined to lend the proposal her support, citing her busy schedule, and Anderson has yet to comment as of Thursday night. 

 

“Given the timeliness, Mia [Pillote] and I decided that we could not wait.” The plan is now to speak out at the Board of Education meeting on November 10. The duo has started posting on social media to get the word out about the proposal ahead of the BOE meeting.

 

“We’re also trying to get at least one BOE member to sponsor our proposal, which would allow us longer speaking time at BOE meetings and lend our cause credibility,” Pillote said. “In the long term, Dylan [Lindsey] and I hope that his proposal will be accepted and implemented in Poudre School District. I really do believe that it’s one of our safest, most thoughtful, and inclusive options for hybrid learning.”

 

Currently, Phase 2.5 has their entire proposal on their website, along with a petition for the staff, students, and families of PSD. Their proposal will be presented at the BOE meeting on November 10 at 5:30pm. You can watch the BOE meeting here.