by Terry Rogers
As of November 12 and 13, Milford School District’s ninth grade class successfully transitioned to hybrid learning. Grades 10 through 12 should begin transitioning on November 30. All other district schools have completed the transition from complete virtual learning to a hybrid format.
“Initially, we were at a 70 percent hybrid and 30 percent remote level,” Dr. Kate Marvel, Director of Secondary Student Learning, said. “As time has moved on, we are now at a 60 percent hybrid and 40 percent remote learning level. Every day, we are receiving requests from parents requesting to change from hybrid to remote and vice versa. We are handling those requests on an individual basis, trying to accommodate families as much as possible. We are continuing to refine the asynchronous learning process as we assess student performance and participation.”
Dr. Marvel explained that Milford High School is using a concurrent teaching model with both hybrid and remote students learning at the same time. This means that all students are in class together whether they are hybrid or remote. In addition, four teachers at other school sin the district are piloting a concurrent teaching model that appears to be successful.
“Concurrent learning is a bit more difficult with the lower grade levels than it is with high school students,” Dr. Marvel said. “We had an expert, Dr. Flynn, do a professional learning opportunity for our staff, providing us with tips and tricks for hybrid learning, such as what technology we need, classroom setup and even student engagement. The staff really enjoyed him and we will be bringing him back as we continue to work out the kinks and find out what we need to get education to our students.”
Dr. Kevin Dickerson, Superintendent, praised the staff throughout the district for dealing with unprecedented times in education.
“I am very proud of our high school staff for taking on this challenge,” Dr. Dickerson said. “This is not easy. It is not an easy conversion in the middle of the year after spending a lot of time trying to manage both options for learning. Our staff has done a great job with both efforts to make the remote learning process successful and addressing the needs of students in the classroom. I am proud of our high school and I think this will pay great dividends in the future. I am also proud and excited we have other teachers at other grade levels willing to pilot this. I believe this is a much larger challenge at the elementary level, but we do have staff that are, at this point, piloting this with our students and our families.”
Dr. Dickerson also praised the students for doing what they needed to do to stay safe during the pandemic. He pointed out that every student knows to get their temperature checked as they come in the building, not to high five each other and to remain socially distanced from others as they walk to the classroom.
“At the high school, students are changing classes,” Dr. Marvel said. “The process is going very well. We have one-way hallways and students are required to social distance as they go to class. We have monitors in each hallway making sure they remain apart from each other. At Milford Central Academy, the students remain in the classroom and the teachers switch simply due to the design of the building.”
Dr. Dickerson stated that there was excitement in the hallways with teachers, staff and students happy to be back in a school setting.