Reading, MA — On Friday morning, RMHS Principal Kathleen Boynton informed RMHS parents and students via email that the school would be changing its hybrid model of learning starting Monday, February 22nd. The new hybrid learning model will decide who will learn in-person on any given week based on students’ last names, instead of by grade level as they have been doing.
“Students in grades 9-12 with last names beginning with A-L whose families have selected the hybrid model for Quarter 3 will be in-person February 22-26, while students with last names beginning with M-Z will be remote that week. The following week – March 1-4, students in grades 9-12 with last names beginning with M-Z whose families have selected the hybrid model for Quarter 3 will be in person, while students with last names beginning with A-L will be remote. The weeks will then continue to rotate with A-L and M-Z in person every other week. Fridays will continue to be a remote learning day for all students,” stated Boynton in the email.
Previously, the hybrid model separated students by both grade level and last name. On week one of a month, students in ninth and tenth grade with last names A-L would learn in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, and then switch off with other people in their grade level so that students with the last names M-Z would be in-person on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The same process would happen with students in grades 11 and 12 on the second week of the month and rotate as the month continued. Friday acted as a remote learning day for all students to allow for the building to be cleaned. The end result of this hybrid model of learning was that RMHS students were only learning in-person for a total of four days a month.
“The process to shift from the grade level cohort hybrid learning model to a pure alphabet split model was not an easy or simple one to make, but we knew it was the best one for students. There were many staffing and logistical issues that we had to address. Department heads, and RMHS administration have been working intensely and collaboratively over the past several weeks to determine the best way to bring students back in person four days a week every other week, and, given staffing, space, and other constraints, we needed to shift the hybrid model in order to achieve this goal” stated Boynton in the email.
Boynton also stated that purely remote weeks of learning will no longer exist for high school students and that families that decided to select the remote model of learning must remain remote for the remainder of the quarter.
“This [new hybrid model] means that the purely remote weeks for students at the high school will no longer take place, and we will be using a concurrent hybrid teaching model. Our focus will be on the students with us in person in the classroom and, while lessons will still be synchronous, there may be more independent and asynchronous work for students at home. Our primary goal and focus is on student wellbeing.
We will continue to monitor how the revised hybrid model is going and make any adjustments as needed for Quarter 4,” stated Boynton in the email.