Is hybrid learning and remote learning negatively affecting our high school students?

Whats Right With Schools

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — How is hybrid learning and remote learning affecting our high school students? A report released Monday examines data collected from a group of high school students.  

The Connecticut Rise Network is a nonprofit education support organization that partners with nine districts and 10 public high schools.  

The report titled “Plugged In” focuses on COVID-19 enrollment trends and learning outcomes. The data was collected from over 12,000 high school seniors. Of those students, 63 percent participated in hybrid learning and 37 percent opted for complete remote learning.  

Executive Director Emily Pallin said, “Students are experiencing higher rates for disengagement and course failure this year.”  

The data supports the concerns many educators and administrators have expressed over the past year when it comes to remote and hybrid learning models.  

Stephanie Fakharzadeh is Rise’s research and data strategist. She explains, “So in other words, only half of the students enrolled in remote learning were passing enough classes to be considered on track for the school year at that point and time.” 

The study found remote learners were 60 percent less likely to be on track for yearly achievement than hybrid learners.  

Middletown Public Schools is one of the districts partnering with Rise. Dr. Mike Conner said, “I call myself an outlier right because I look at this as an opportunity to reimagine education.”  

Enhancing the distance learning model is something Dr. Conner is wanting to work on throughout his district moving forward, “We can get students reengaged but more importantly so they have high-quality learning experiences despite being in a full distance learning environment.” 

For East Hartford High School, they’ve found ways to enhance attendance, “We have 90 percent attendance every day, so our kids are coming online, they are coming to school, they are engaging and our teachers are building phenomenal relationships even through a computer.”  

Teachers have attendance meetings to focus on each of the students and they even do house visits to check in on how the remote learners are doing socially, emotionally and are staying on top of their school work.  

Despite the challenges the pandemic has presented, Dr. Conner reiterates, “This is not a lost year, this was a different year I like to phrase that to everybody.” 

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