In the past weeks, many PV High School students have switched to fully virtual schooling. This decrease of in-person students created the opportunity to condense the groups in school from three to two. The school district came up with a new system to divide students, putting them in groups “orange” or “brown”. With fewer groups rotating in the schedule, the in-person students can be in school up to three times a week.
Before the two group system, students were divided into three groups based on last names. Now, the orange group is anyone who goes to the tech school (and their siblings) and last names A-Kerbel. The brown group is everyone else.
“[We] came up with this idea for several reasons: first, the students who attend the tech school had a crazy schedule when we were in the hybrid with three groups, as they go to the tech school in person on Monday and Wednesdays…this simplifies it for them. Secondly, by going on letter days like we did before, some students were never in the building on their lab days. Third, the number of students who wanted to remain virtual increased significantly from the start of the year through January,” Dr. Moss, principal of PVHS, said.
The main reason why the school was able to make this change was because of the number of virtual students at PV.
“We started the year with 125 students being virtual and by the time we returned in January we had over 700 students virtual. That freed up space so we could condense the three groups into two,” Dr. Moss said.
Now that there are more students per group, classes are beginning to have more students in person than there were before, where some classes had only one to three students at a time.
“Out of all of my classes, the largest number of students in class at a time was 10; 11 including me,” Kaylie Chomo, freshman at PVHS, said.
Now that more students are switching to virtual schooling, the district is planning to have students return to school 4 to 5 days a week for those who are interested. The PVSD Board of School directors approved a plan for a 5 day per week return, as administration continues to work out some of the finer details regarding class size and such.
“We would still need to maintain the 6ft apart, so that creates a challenge…That and the cafeteria. We have 211 seats in there, but pre-COVID we had 630,” Dr. Moss said.
Finding space for social distancing is the main challenge for making the change to the 4-5 day return.
Until the week of March 22, the high school is continuing with the orange and brown hybrid groups.