- Olivia Velasquez
Olivet Community Schools in the Time of COVID-19
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been one of the most prevalent events of 2020 and is causing a lot of ‘regular life’ to be altered. This is becoming more recognizable in the way businesses, organizations, and schools, like Olivet Community Schools, are being run.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, cdc.gov, has a page dedicated to how schools should operate in the time of the coronavirus. It gives several example scenarios for how schools could choose to operate, along with an indication of how safe that option would be. The site stated, “In general, the risk of COVID-19 spread in schools increases across the continuum of virtual, hybrid, to in-person learning with the risk moderated for hybrid and in-person learning based upon the range of mitigation strategies put in place and the extent they are conscientiously followed.”
So how is this information being used locally? Olivet Community Schools’ website, olivetschools.org, has access to the district’s plans on how they plan to start the year.
The K-5 students are able to do completely virtual classes, or completely face-to-face classes. Grades 6-12 are seeing different options. The district said they plan on using an alternating schedule. This would mean one group of students, “Group A,” attends face-to-face instruction on two particular days of the week and the other group, “Group B,” attend virtually for those two days. Then, the groups would switch and “Group B” would attend face-to-face and “Group A” would virtually.
The school’s Return to School Update, which can be found on olivetschools.org, stated, “Our main purpose for having alternating face to face days at the beginning of the year is to keep the number of students in the building at the recommended levels.”
The document continued discussing the district’s desire to, “still give students and teachers the opportunity to build rapport with one another, to help familiarize students with course expectations, and provide in-person support as students begin to use the virtual learning tools.”
While the district continues to adjust, students are also faced with drastic changes in the operation of the school.
Avery Davis, a freshman at Olivet High School, stated that she preferred the hybrid style of courses because it allowed for the social experience in schools to remain present.
“I like the hybrid option. It gives us more social time, which a lot of students need, while still being safe,” said Davis. “I wish we had more of a schedule [to] know what is going to be happening.”
Amidst the changes in “daily life,” school districts and students are still trying to adapt to the uncertain circumstances of the pandemic.