Remote Students Return


Throughout late November and early December, hybrid students at LHS may have noticed some new faces in the halls. Full-remote students, previously prohibited from returning, finally made their way back to school in person.

Prior to the start of the school year, some chose to stay home as full-remote learners for a variety of reasons. The next few months were filled with confusion over whether these students would be able to return to school in person with the hybrid learning model. After much deliberation, the district decided that, yes, they would be allowed to return.

These students have had to make a momentous transition from sitting home each day to now navigating the one-way hallways and staircases at LHS. Some classes have had to move to larger rooms to accommodate the additional students who now attend in person. Fortunately, the eight-minute passing time between class periods allows plenty of room for these adjustments.

Perhaps the biggest adjustment for the now-hybrid learners is seeing people in person. No longer are classmates and teachers confined to a small square on Webex; they have become the living, breathing LHS community that these students have not seen for nine months. This sudden increase in social interaction is arguably the most beneficial consequence of coming to school in person. Sophomore Harry Hargreaves, who transitioned from the full-remote model to the hybrid model, commented, “The hybrid model is much better. I like the socialization. It’s also easier to pay attention.”

 Another significant change that has not gone unnoticed by the former full-remote students is the decrease in time spent looking at the tablet. In some classes, especially those of music and physical education, hybrid learners are not required to use their tablets. However, full-remote students have no way to attend class other than through Webex meetings. This dramatically increases one’s screen time to an almost unhealthy amount: roughly eight hours of school a day, for five days a week, equates to approximately 40 hours weekly attending virtual classes. With the additional time spent working on homework and using a computer for personal enjoyment, screen time can jump to well over 70 hours a week. A full school year would constitute about 3,000 hours of screen time; that is a whopping 125 full 24-hour days of staring at a screen – about 35% of a year.

The responses from those who have made this transition are exceedingly positive. Along with Hargreaves, sophomores Jaiden Moreno and Lola Sokolskiy have made the switch. Moreno explained, “The first day when I re-entered the school was probably the best day of the year; the bar really wasn’t set too high, but it was a pretty fantastic day. It was so great to see everybody again, and just being in the school was so much better than being home on a computer. I am very happy to be back, and I’m glad my other friends who were full-remote are starting to come back, as well.”

Sokolskiy commented, “When the school started calling every remote-only student who wanted to come back, I got very excited and stressed. First of all, I was the last one who was actually accepted to come back, and, let me just say, the wait was dreadful. I personally didn’t want to come back for the first quarter because I had no idea whether it actually would be safe or not. This quarter, I felt fine coming back, so here am I, as some of you saw already. The transition was surprisingly easy for me, which I did not expect at all. When I got into the school, it felt as if this horrible and crazy year just got a little more normal. Nothing bothered me: not the masks, or the plexiglass, or the one-way hallways. I was just happy to be back. And every day when I’m at home, sitting in the same chair and the same desk I’ve been next to from September to December every day, I start to miss school.”

Despite the difficulties of this year, things are starting to return to normal. The transition from full-remote to hybrid learning is one giant leap towards this normalcy, as school is a part of everyday life. This is hope that, in the future, the whole LHS family will be able to reunite without the need of hybrid learning, social distancing, or masks.