By Natalie Luna
Last week the Granada Hills Charter (GHC) high school campus welcomed back cohorts of students to campus for in-person morning and afternoon hybrid programs.
The school offers a morning program where students participate in their online classes on campus with a support provider. GHC has had a similar program for special education populations since last semester, but last week the program was opened to more students.
The afternoon program offers in-person instruction with GHC teachers from 1:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Students can opt to work from home in the mornings and attend the afternoon sessions on campus.
Last week students met with English teachers, this week with math. The following weeks will include science, world languages and cultures, and local options, which are courses like business statistics.
Although students are not necessarily in a classroom with their own teachers, the classroom environment and interactions with other people has been motivating.
“It’s a relief to have real, human students, not squares that represent people,” English teacher Vanessa Averbach said.
Before returning to campus, all the teachers and staff were required to have weekly Covid-19 tests and day to day temperature checks. Teachers and staff also had to complete an online training course for covid related matters such as properly wearing masks, what the disease is, and how to deal with students’ mental health.
Although students’ returns have had various motivations from a desire for a quiet place to work, to pressure from parents, to genuinely needing help from a live teacher, overall, students have felt more productive.
“Honestly I am so much more motivated here than at home. I feel more secure in my work,” senior Amber Lopez said.
Students and staff alike felt motivated by the return to the classroom.
“Here at school I can concentrate better than at home. It’s a better environment to focus,” junior Saul Cardenas said.
Although this is not the ideal situation for either student or teacher, the offer of in-person services is progress that gives many hope for the fall semester.
“This return is not yet a true return to campus, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’m not really teaching my own group of students, and the students in my class haven’t been able to build a sense of community. I hope that a true return, hopefully in the fall, will bring more of the social element back,” Averbach said.