New Haven middle school students head back to the classroom in hybrid learning plan

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As New Haven middle school students returned to the classroom for the first time Thursday morning, sixth through eighth graders are starting a hybrid learning model.

The plan is to bring back those middle school students into the classroom two days a week in a cohort system is underway. So one group will be known as group a and the other group b. School leaders are stressing the need for flexibility and patience.

“Flexibility is the name of the game right? So that’s where we are,” said Dianne Spence, Principal, West Conte Middle School.

Principal Spence and her staff welcomed sixth through eighth graders at West Conte Middle School, just one of several schools doing the same. This cohort of students will begin in-person learning through a hybrid learning model, with one group in the classroom Thursdays and Fridays and another Mondays and Tuesdays. Safety is a top priority.

“We are happy to see them. We are looking forward to them coming back. We know that some of them feel a bit anxious but we are looking forward, we have prepared for them,” said Spence.

Social distancing, deep cleanings and COVID friendly precautions all built into the school day in schools across New Haven.

“The teachers have done a virtual tour with them over the last few days and so we will see how it feels today,” said Spence.

Middle school students made their way to class for the first time in almost a year, while some New Haven elementary students have already begun in-person learning in February.

“I like that it’s fun!” said Benson Taylor, 6-years old.

“It feels good, I think they’re doing a great job from having kids keep masks on, separating everyone,” said Venson Taylor, a parent. “It teaches them a lot, especially being social at this age. It’s an age where they need to be around other children.”

For Assistant Principal McCarthy, bringing students back is a step in the right path forward towards a sense of normalcy.

“Exciting, exciting, it’s like opening day all over again for the first time even with their masks on just brings a level of enthusiasm and excitement, we are glad they’re back,” said Thomas McCarthy, Asst. Principal West Conte Middle School. “Keep the faith, there are protocols in place to keep them safe and the one thing is with the social and emotional component, it’s probably the best thing for them for just trust in us.”

New Haven middle school students now have the option of returning to school safely in this hybrid model starting Thursday… again, parents do have the option of opting out if needed. High school students in the elm city are still remote until further notice.

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