District 70's hybrid model 'feels like coming back to a warm hug'
In early November, the Libertyville School District 70 board approved the move to a hybrid model, which was phased in on Monday, Nov. 9. Students are splitting their day between in-person instruction at school and remote participation from home.
"It feels wonderful to be back in the classroom. It feels like coming back to a warm hug," Copeland Manor School first grade teacher Becki Jo Miranda said. "I feel like I'm back where I am most natural, face-to-face in the classroom with the students."
Miranda said teachers and students are following safety guidelines and protocols that have been set up within the district. Prior to going hybrid, she said the students had to problem solve quickly without any help during remote learning and that it was good to see students grow as "problem solvers and independent learners."
She added that it was nice to see students in their natural setting. "We don't normally have the opportunity to meet our students' pets, siblings or even grandparents. Many of my students would pop on the meeting early to chat with their peers, so it was fun to listen in and participate in those conversations," Miranda said.
The in-person instruction started in time for Copeland kindergarten teacher Bethany Alvarez to celebrate the 50th day of school with her class. Students participated in a variety of activities and projects with a 1950s theme.
"We listened to music from the 1950s while working and discussed fashion trends from that time period. One of the projects showed cuffed jeans and saddle shoes. We even tried out some dance moves," Alvarez said. Each of the students decorated a boy or girl cutout and glued it to a paper towel roll. Each student also received a 50 days of learning certificate.
"I think it's great that all students and families in district 70 can choose the learning path that is best for them," Miranda said. "Many students enjoyed and thrived in a remote environment and many are excited to be back in the classroom. It's nice to know we have both options for families."