Highland schools choose hybrid option

RIVERSIDE — The Highland schools will return to school in a hybrid model for the first month with face coverings required.

In the Wednesday night decision, the Highland school board decided to approve the school administration’s recommendation to return to school in a hybrid model, but opted to extend the amount of time from the first two weeks to four weeks.

The change allows the board to meet on Sept. 8 to discuss whether or not they will extend the hybrid timeline or return full time, as well as allow parents time to adjust plans and schedules.

They hybrid model breaks students up into two groups: A and B. The groups will rotate days attending school, while the other group will be online.

Superintendent Ken Crawford said administrators recommended this model to allow time for students and teachers to adjust to the new procedures.

Crawford said there are a lot of different moving parts, and they want to make sure it works the way they think it will work.

If the students return all at once, Crawford said, administrators worry the students will just go back to normal and not take it seriously.

“Psychologically it says we’re in a different world,” Crawford said.

Parents will be informed which group their children will be in and can let the school know of any additional factors that could change which group the child is put in.

Face coverings received a short discussion during the meeting as a large portion of the last special meeting was spent discussing the specifics.

Both measures passed unanimously.

School board members voiced concerns about the number of individuals who may choose to send their kids to virtual school, and if that number will be overwhelming for teachers.

School administration said there are virtual programs taught by teachers outside of the district they may use and will evaluate once the deadline for signing up passes.