Returning to In-Person Learning at GHS


Breanne Carlisle

GHS welcomes students back into the building with Hybrid Learning.

Jessica Gunther, Staff Writer

GHS has started welcoming students back to the building, easing back into in-person learning with a new hybrid model.

This new system began April 19th, at the start of the 4th and final quad of the 2020-21 school year. The students and staff have been back for several weeks now.

“I think the first week went fairly well, considering no one really knew how it was going to work,” English teacher Mark Brittain said. 

There were several guidelines and protocols that had to be implemented to provide a safe environment for students and staff. These new protocols include the hybrid students being placed into two different groups, or cohorts-AA and BB, to limit student capacity and optimize social distancing. Students in the AA cohort come in on Monday and Tuesday afternoons, and the BB cohort comes in on Thursday and Friday afternoons. 

There are also new specific routes that students had to take to navigate through the hallways, up and down the stairs, and to enter and exit the building. 

“We have a great video that [the students] did from Gopher Nation News and Student Leadership to talk about the safety protocols, arriving, walking in the hallways, and then obviously dismissal,” Principal Shelton said. The video can be viewed here:

The new system, as well as maintaining proper distance took some getting used to. 

“I had to retrain my brain on how to interact with people because we’re so used to getting next to students and helping them through something, but we can’t get next to them. So we have to figure out a way to show them from a distance.” Spanish teacher Amy Wolf said.

Although there were several challenges, such as adjusting to the new system, and trying to figure out how to socially distance, lots of work was put into making the transition back into the building run smoothly.

“The check-in to get into the building went smoothly, staff was helpful with directions, and all my new teachers were very understanding about this new system being confusing at times,” sophomore Loic Bassett said.

After over a year of distance learning, some students and staff are happy to be back in a school environment. 

“There were so many faces that I haven’t seen in such a long time! The classes are definitely a little empty but nevertheless it’s still nice to get out of the house and learn in an environment that I can focus in,” junior McKenzee Manlupig said. 

The jury is still out on whether or not more students can take part in hybrid learning as the 4th quad progresses. 

“We want everybody to be here. I want all 1,500 plus students to be in the building, but obviously because of the metrics and the guidance that’s given to us from the Oregon Health Authority, you know, we’re bound by that,” Shelton said. “As things progress and as things open up, the goal is obviously to get people back in to create some sense of normalcy back to what they call ‘normal school.’ That’s the hope that GHS will return to normal in the fall.”

Until then, students should do their best to attend and participate in their classes, which according to Shelton, has “been the biggest challenge since we’ve been in distance learning.”

“My hope and my goal is that we have more engagement, more student follow-through, and more academic and attendance success here at the school,” Shelton said.