O’Dowd’s Hybrid Plan for the Spring Semester Explained

Bishop O’Dowd released a possible hybrid plan to return to campus spring semester.

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Ava Murphy, Contributor

March of 2020 was the initiation and introduction of online remote learning at Bishop O’Dowd and in schools all over the world due to COVID-19. Programs such as Khan Academy, Zoom, and Google Hangouts have been altering and improving learning opportunities to help teachers and staff navigate ways to teach students while at home. Online learning has continued throughout the fall semester of the 2020-2021 school year, as COVID-19 reached extremely high levels in the United States.

However, throughout the semester, the administration and staff have discussed different strategies and ways to bring students back to campus as soon as possible. They recently announced a possible hybrid plan for the spring semester so that students can return to in-person learning.

Bishop O’Dowd’s hybrid plan tries to prevent as much close contact as possible. Students with the last name A-K will come to school on Monday’s and Tuesday’s and students L-Z will come to school on Thursday’s and Friday’s. While in classes, there will be fewer desks in a classroom, and all desks will face forward to keep students from breathing upon someone else. Windows will also stay open or there will be consistent use of ventilators to filter out the air. There will also be hand sanitation systems in every classroom and all students are required to use their own classroom supplies (things like printers will be sanitized after each use). When traveling around the campus, only two individuals will be allowed in the elevator at a time. Specific staircases will be designated as either the going up staircase or the going down the staircase to minimize traffic. 

Although this is very exciting and reassuring news after many months trapped at home, the hybrid plan is still highly controversial and many families are deciding what they think is most responsible. Especially as COVID rates continue to rise, some students may want to stay home where there are fewer risks for contracting the virus. Many see it as almost impossible to social distance at all times and are concerned that some students may not be staying safe outside of school. However, many students will likely go back on campus because they struggle with grasping and understanding new information online.

The plan is still being discussed amongst staff and students, as anything could change over the holidays regarding COVID numbers. Ultimately, Bishop O’Dowd’s number one priority is the safety of the staff and students, along with receiving a thorough education, and the hybrid plan will only be implemented if both are assured.