About the Hybrid Learning Model
We know that there are many questions regarding what the hybrid learning model will look like. Please click through our FAQ and watch the videos below that will answer some of those questions. Also, please check back as we will be updating this page with more information regularly.
What is a hybrid learning model?
What is HPS doing to keep students and staff who are physically present in our buildings as safe as possible?
In order to keep students and staff who are physically present in our buildings as safe as possible, HPS has implemented a detailed plan which includes:
- A personal responsibility Return to School Safety Pledge for Students (PDF) | En Español (PDF) to stay home when ill and follow all other precautions, required of each student, family and staff member.
- Masks required for all staff and students in grades PreK-12, unless prevented due to a medical condition or behavior concern. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff members, especially those who work with the most vulnerable students.
- Social distancing in classrooms of at least 6-feet and smaller groups of students in each classroom.
- Enhanced cleaning procedures, including cleaning high-touch surfaces multiple times a day, regular cleaning daily and deep cleaning between cohorts of students.
- Proper ventilation and classes outdoors at the discretion of teachers to promote fresh air.
- Staff training on new safety and health procedures.
- Extremely restricted access to all buildings by non-HPS employees.
- Quick access to COVID-19 testing through local testing sites.
- Contact tracing to quickly inform students, families, and staff if possible exposure to COVID-19 has occurred.
What considerations and planning are taking place to offer the hybrid learning model to more students?
We currently have target start dates for students, which you can learn about in the question below.
What are the target dates for students returning to school in-person in the hybrid model?
In reviewing the health metric trends and reflecting on feedback from our stakeholders, we have decided to revise the hybrid learning model re-entry target dates. We believe this is in the best interest of maintaining the health and safety of our students, families, and staff. We are revising the original target dates so that our early learners will begin to transition into in-person learning in February. More details will be shared by the end of the 1/11/21 week.
As we have communicated, target start dates are not finalized – they are dates that we are planning for with the understanding that they might have to shift based on current health data. The target dates will be selected in consultation with the Holyoke Board of Health and will be a phased return by grade level.
For your reference, the original plan to return students was:
- preschool through grade 2 starting on January 21, 2021
- grades 3-5 and grade 9 starting on February 4, 2021
- grade 6-8 and 10-12 returning February 25, 2021
How do you determine the dates for students to return to in-person learning?
What does a phase into hybrid learning look like for my student?
- Students who wish to participate in in-person learning will be assigned to Cohort C and attend in-person 4 days/week. They will be assigned an in-person teacher.
- Students who are fully remote (assigned to Cohort D) will be assigned a remote learning teacher.
Grades 1-12 will participate in the Livestream Hybrid Model.
- Students who wish to participate in in-person learning will be assigned to Cohort A or B and attend in-person 2 days/week. They will join the class virtually on their remote days.
- Students who are fully remote (assigned to Cohort D) will join the class virtually with their in-person peers.
Due to our current class sizes and room configurations, it is not possible to bring back all students for learning 5 days a week and still maintain physical distancing protocols. That is why our grades 1-12 students will engage in in-person learning two days a week versus four. We will phase into our hybrid model on a staggered schedule, prioritizing our youngest students first.
Please note: students who are currently enrolled in Cohort C for 4 days a week will remain on the 4-days/week schedule.
What is a cohort and which days of the week will each cohort attend school in-person?
- Cohort A will attend school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays and have guided remote learning on Thursdays and Fridays.
- Cohort B will have guided remote learning on Mondays and Tuesdays and will attend school in-person on Thursdays and Fridays.
- Cohort C:
- Students in preschool and Kindergarten who have selected to participate in the hybrid model will be assigned to Cohort C and will attend school four days a week: Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday.
- Cohort C will continue to include the current structure for student groups who are already attending school in-person four days a week (students at Transitions Academy, Dean Campus and some students who are receiving specialized instructional support).
- Cohort D is for students who will continue to participate fully in remote learning.
Wednesdays are full remote learning days for all students assigned to Cohort A, B, or C. Deep cleaning will occur in all schools in the district on Wednesdays. See the chart below.
When and how do I find out what if my student will be assigned to Cohort A or B?
Next week (the week of 1/11/21), we will share the revised target entry dates with families. Families in grades 3 through 12 will receive their child’s cohort assignment two to three weeks prior to the target return date.
If the Cohort my student is assigned to does not work for our family, what can I do?
How will the adjusted school hours effect my child's school schedule?
The original school schedule included synchronous learning from 8 AM – noon and asynchronous learning of up to 2.5 hours daily. The schedule provided students with 6.5 hours of learning daily. The schedule change will now offer students a 6 hour school day, with 4-5 hours of synchronous learning scheduled throughout the day that includes movement breaks, lunch breaks, recess (for younger grades), hand-washing breaks, transition, and cleaning time. Wednesdays will follow the current schedule of no more than 3 hours of synchronous learning for grades K-8 and no more than 4 hours for grades 9-12. Synchronous learning on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays is as follows:
- Grades K-2 is 4 hours daily,
- Grades 3-8 is 5 hours daily,
- Grades 9-12 is 4.5-5 hours daily
This change allows the district to:
- Increase synchronous (live) instructional time to meet the needs of students and following updated DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) guidelines
- Develop bussing schedules to safely transport students to and from school and maintain all safety protocols and appropriate distancing.