After a long year of online learning, Tigers were finally able to step back into the building on April 19.
Tigard faculty hosted a Google Meet night to help get the families of Tigard prepared for the return. Their priorities for a safe return included, the safety of staff and students, social-emotional health and re-establishing connections, and consistent academic content/access.
In order to reopen, Tigard had to find a schedule that would accommodate many students safely. Their action plan for hybrid learning consisted of two days a week of in person learning in cohorts. Cohort “A”, last names A-L, would be in person on Mondays and Tuesdays. Meanwhile Cohort “B”, last names M-Z, would be in person on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday’s advisory remained completely online.
Masks were required at all times while in the building and on buses. The school and buses also provided masks to those who needed one.
Classrooms were set up with student desks six feet apart with plexiglass dividers. Students were required to have individual, not shared, supplies. Students left for the day in staggered releases. With this, students were directed to specific entrances and exits for their cohort. Some hallways were also designated for one-way traffic. The larger hallways in the building were separated in the middle to maintain two-way traffic.
Junior Isabell Van Kleek shared her difficulty with navigating the new building.
“Navigating the new building has been a little hard,” Van Kleek said. “I’ve gotten used to it now, but for the first week I got some students lost while trying to show them to their classroom.”
“With CDL the biggest challenge for me has been trying to channel energy into a screen,” Michael Rogers said. “I feel like with hybrid we may not be getting the same kind of energy from students as we normally would, but I am getting to know some of the hybrid students better, and that’s a positive.”
Rogers’ classes, like Theory of Knowledge, rely heavily on discussion-based learning. Getting students back into the classroom definitely helped with that aspect, but challenges arose when trying to juggle two groups of students.
Junior Katelyn Schaures felt that it was important to have those face-to-face conversations and social interactions were working well.
“It has been fun seeing my teachers and friends,” she said. “It is a little hard for my teachers to balance both online and in person students, but they are definitely trying their best.”
Senior Keegan Orta was grateful to relive in person school one last time before he graduates, even though it looks really different.
“I like the smaller classes and being in person with teachers if I need help,” he said.
Sophomore Makayla Simonelic shared her experience with hybrid learning.
“Classes have been like normal classes with very few people, almost like it’s a private school,” Simonelic explained. “Learning in person is definitely better than online.”
“I think maybe hybrid is a success if it gets even a small portion of our students to feel like they belong to something, regardless of my feelings,” Rogers said.
About 400 students a day get to enter the building and get that experience.