New Hybrid Now Running at RMHS

More In-Person Learning Is The Central Feature

On February 22nd, Reading Memorial High School students and staff entered a new hybrid learning model that allows students to be in the classroom more often. 

In early February, RMHS families received an email from Principal Boynton announcing that the school would finally be switching to an alpha-split hybrid schedule. The new plan came as a significant shift from the previous hybrid model in which students were split up alphabetically and by grade. The old learning model had students in the building for four days each month, yet the updated hybrid model will allow for eight days instead, with Fridays remaining a remote learning day for all. 

This change comes after months of discussion to change the old model, often filled with staffing and spacing concerns in the high school. Despite this, RMHS administration has decided to find solutions and push through with a new plan to create the longest in-person week that RMHS students and staff have seen since March of 2020. 

Immediately following February break, students and staff started the updated hybrid model. So far, there has been mostly positive feedback from both students and staff. 

When asked her opinion on the new hybrid schedule, school nurse, Ms. Quinlan said, “I’m really glad we can have more kids in. It’s definitely a good thing, and we are doing it safely, so I feel pretty good about that, and I think it’s good for the students to be here, and it’s good for the staff, too.” 

Not only does Ms. Quinlan feel this way, but some of the students do as well. 

Sofia Azevedo (‘21) said, “I like it a lot better. I think it’s nice to see more people in the building, and … I’m just happy we’re in more.” 

Azevedo is not alone in her sentiment, as when sophomore Julia Barbato was asked her opinion on the new hybrid model, she answered with: “I like how I can see some of my friends [from other grades, A-L] and be more social.” 

Although there have been many positive comments from the students and staff at Reading Memorial High School, there is also a concern with the alpha-split model being followed. Senior Margaret Coles said, “I feel like it drives the disconnect between the A-L and M-Z kids. At least in the old model we’d have a full week together over Zoom where everybody was on the exact same page and we could really all have the same learning experience.”  With the new hybrid model, classes only have one thirty-minute period a week where all of the students are learning together over Zoom, as opposed to having a full week where all students were learning at the same time. 

Overall, the new hybrid model brings increased face-to-face learning for the RMHS community. However, it will remain to be seen if the plan’s challenges outweigh the intended benefits. Especially, as the first week’s reviews and opinions are mixed from both staff and students. Only time will tell if the community finds the new plan to be beneficial.