“So far, so good.”
That’s how Brad Sale, the Superintendent of the Parker Unified School District, described how “hybrid” learning is going after one month in the Parker Unified School District.
“We’re doing about as well as can be expected,” he said.
The Parker Schools started hybrid learning Sept. 8 after La Paz County met the benchmarks from the Arizona Department of Health Services for returning to some in-person classes. The schools had been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they used distance learning via the Internet to keep classes going.
Hybrid learning divides students into two groups, based alphabetically on their last names. One group attends in-person classes on Monday and Tuesday, while the other attends on Wednesday and Thursday. The groups alternate attending on Friday. When they are not at school for in-person classes, they attend classes by distance learning.
Sale said the students have, for the most part, been in school the days they’re supposed to be. While there have been some problems with students distance learning, they’ve been attentive and ready to learn when they’re at school.
Sale said two staff members, a teacher and a classified assistant, have tested positive for the coronavirus. He said the students were all notified and letters were sent home to parents. He added the face mask and social distancing requirements have mitigated the spread of the virus, and there’s a much slimmer possibility of passing the virus on.
“We’re being transparent,” Sale said. “That’s about all we can do. We’re riding it out.”
A major concern over the winter will be the cold and flu season, Sale said. He noted the symptoms for both are like the coronavirus.
Sale offered no timetable for when the Parker schools might return to fill-time classes. He said they would be monitoring the spread of the virus in the community.
“A virus is going to do what a virus is going to do,” he said.
Sale said they might have a better idea in November of when they can return to full-time classes.
“We’re going to play it safe,” he said. “We’ll see how the cold and flu season goes.”