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Class During Covid: Students transition to hybrid learning in Sun Prairie School District

“You know with teaching zoom, at the end of the day you feel like your bucket is empty,” said Doug Maughan as he is happy to be back in the classroom with students.
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:00 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 10:28 PM CST
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Sun Prairie, Wis. (WMTV) - Students are back in the classroom in the Sun Prairie School District. It’s something that hasn’t happened in almost a year. Student now have the option of a hybrid model or staying virtual.

Doug Maughan, a seventh-grade teacher at Patrick Marsh Middle School, said so far the transition has been smooth; however, it took a lot of planning to get to this point. He described the return to the classroom midyear like this.

“To be honest, I feel like I have one foot in September and one foot in February,” said Maughan.

In order to help with a smooth transition, Maughan and a few of his co-teachers made a welcome back video for the students explaining all of the new COVID protocols and safety measures.

Maughan said in this hybrid model, one group of students will attend in-person classes on Monday and Tuesday. The other group will attend on Thursday and Friday. When students are not in the classroom, they will do their schoolwork virtually. Wednesday is still reserved for planning days for teachers and work days or enrichment activities for students.

He said he has about 30 students that have opted to stay virtual.

“I think it’s an opportunity we have to transition back to a quote-unquote normal,” said Maughan.

Even at a limited capacity, it’s still safety first. Hallways are all one way. Students will not use lockers. Instead, each student will have a designated learning space.

When teachers were developing the hybrid model, their goal was to make it easy for students to follow especially if they needed to change from one to the other for some reason.

“So, lets say Johnny on Monday is in-person. He follows this schedule,” Maughan pointed to a whiteboard with the designated classes on it. “And then on Tuesday he doesn’t feel well. He just jumps onto zoom.”

Maughan said teachers are going to use the same zoom link for everything to make it easy for students.

This is just a “snap shot” of what this particular “house” is doing. Patrick Marsh students and teachers are broken up into learning groups known as a “house.” This is something that was done even pre-pandemic. Maughan said each house is operating a little differently in order to meet the needs of its students.

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