Hillsborough Schools Try Hybrid Learning


courtesy of HTPS

Hillsborough High School is one school in town taking part in the hybrid-learning experience.

Nora Ferro, Staff Writer

When Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey schools could reopen in some format amidst the coronavirus pandemic, several districts opted for an entirely remote learning experience, while some private schools chose to open normally full-time. 

Like others, unsure of what combination is best, Hillsborough’s Board of Education ultimately decided to utilize a hybrid schedule, allowing two cohorts of students into the building at different times of the week. Parents had to pick in early August whether or not they would let their kids participate in the half virtual/half in-person experience, and a majority of them chose no.

This allows for small amounts of students in each classroom, while the rest of the classmates participate online simultaneously. I, along with my parents, decided to take part in the hybrid schedule and am now seeing my teachers in-person twice a week. 

Week Two of the hybrid model started this Monday, and after experiencing this new schedule, I feel that it has both benefits and some drawbacks. The positive side is obvious, that students are back in the classroom physically and learning from somewhere besides their bedrooms.

For many students, including me, this aspect of being back in the actual classroom, is already making the experience more positive. However, with the virtual and in-person schedules being synchronized, this puts teachers in a tough position of having to juggle kids online while also teaching the students right in front of them.

To add, the problem of staring at a computer screen has not gone away, despite kids being back in school. While being in the building, students still have to be logged on to a Google Meet with their online classmates, meaning that teachers are still teaching from their screens, even with students sitting in front of their desk.

This is not only difficult for teachers, but it is frustrating for all involved because the students who chose to do hybrid, want to learn better than they did from home, although there might not be much of a difference at this point. 

Students and teachers are both hopeful and wary of what is to come as we continue this hybrid model. If possible Covid-19 cases continue to show up in the district, we might not be in the building for too much longer.