Back to School
Updated: Aug 17
Elias Johnson '22
Coronavirus has changed daily life as we know it. Our schools, among many other systems and institutions, have consistently been put to the test by this pandemic. The Lawrence Township Public School system originally planned to re-open, with hybrid measures, in September. But, this proposal was cancelled at the last minute when parents decided against it. Consequently, the schools decided to reopen for all students, with the same hybrid plan, between November 9th and November 30th. However, this plan was cancelled at the last minute once again, with the school instead announcing their plan to start hybrid on January 25th, 2021. Despite this fact, the school has remained consistent with their plan for a hybrid learning process. This article will act as a comprehensive guide for hybrid learning, whenever it may happen.
As of now, Lawrence High School plans to divide the student body attending in-person, into two groups, or “cohorts”. The first group of students have last names “A-J”, while the second group are students with the last names “K-Z”. On October 12th, the school released a spreadsheet that outlined the schedules for the different cohorts (see the “School Reopening Plan” tab on ltps.org for more information). According to this spreadsheet, “Cohort A” students would be in school on Mondays and Tuesdays, and “Cohort B” students in school on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The school day would only last from 7:45 a.m. to 11:25 a.m., and would consist of four classes in the morning, with two extended learning classes in the afternoon. Students who would be attending in person that day, would go home at 11:25 and begin their extended learning period at 1:10, virtually. Schedules would remain the same, with odd classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, and even classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Extended learning will be no different– periods one and three on Mondays, two and four on Tuesdays, five and seven on Wednesdays, and six and eight on Thursdays. All Fridays will be virtual and asynchronous (meaning no live instruction will be taking place), as reported by this spreadsheet. The school also outlined their plan to execute the return to school in four phases. Phases Zero and One have already been executed, and only involve the return of some teachers. The school is currently in Stage Two, which allows for certain special-needs students to return to school. The third stage involves the hybrid learning process as outlined above. The school plans on moving on to and staying in this stage (Stage Three) until things are safe enough to move into Stage Four (all in person, with full day classes).
Although all of us would love to finally go back to school, this may not be the case for a bit. A second wave of Coronavirus symptoms has already started to spread. The school has proper quarantine procedures and precautions to prevent an outbreak. However, other schools with similar procedures have shut down after having one student or staff member test positive. Coronavirus, being as contagious as it is, makes it extremely difficult to track down every person who was exposed to someone with the infection. This is why many schools choose to shut down after merely one case. We may go back to school on January 25th, but we also may not. For the moment being, we will just have to wait it out.