No More School in PJ’s

The Notre Dame Knights Head Back to Campus for Hybrid Learning

With a drop in cases and a move to the orange tier, the Knights are back on campus for hybrid learning.

On Thursday, March 18th, the Freshmen Cohort 1 went back on campus to begin their hybrid learning process. This was one of the first times the freshmen had been on campus, so they began before the other grades to see the school and meet their classmates in person for the first time. For the next two weeks, the grade levels were slowly introduced back onto campus to get acquainted with the new Hybrid learning rules and setup. Seniors who opted for Hybrid Learning headed back on campus on Wednesday, March 24th. 

Senior Lilah Harvey is a Cohort 1 student. She was excited to go back and said, “It gives seniors a chance to have somewhat of a normal year.”

ND’s hybrid plan allows students “to get on campus for all of their classes two days in a row—one blue day and one gold day—and then has them at home learning on-line synchronously in ‘real-time’ for three days. Cohorts are arranged alphabetically according to last name so that siblings are on campus for the same two days each week” (ndhs.org). 

It also enables students to have a sufficient time on-campus learning and socializing with peers every week. It also allows students to “have five consecutive days at home (counting the weekends) in between their times on campus, which provides a cushion in the event that they, or a close family member, needs to be tested and await COVID-19 results” (ndhs.org).

Notre Dame added many new measures to ensure that students felt safe about coming back to school, including disinfecting their desks after class and one-way hallways. During lunch, however, students are able to take off their masks as they eat outside. With this in mind, many students also became eligible to get vaccinated as hybrid learning began, so they felt a lot more comfortable going to school and being around their classmates. 

Sophia Cabral ‘21, “I’m vaccinated, and during lunch, I sit with my two friends who are also vaccinated, which gives me a sense of ease about going to school and being around people. I also know that Notre Dame is taking the necessary precautions to ensure our safety, which I appreciate.” 

Many students are thrilled to get back to school and be in a focused environment away from the distractions at home. Senior Isabella Ferucci said, “I am so excited that we are returning to hybrid learning. I have a hard time focusing on my classes that are online, so in person classes are more beneficial to me. I know that Notre Dame is safe, and I am ready to come back.”

However, many students have also become accustomed to the at-home learning environment and the freeness that comes with classes on Zoom. Senior Paige Ganim said, “It was definitely harder waking up so early and it is very tiring sitting in a classroom all day instead of my bedroom where I can grab food whenever I want and go on my phone. There were also only a couple kids in each classroom so it was very different than before.”

However, most students went back for the benefit of being able to interact with their peers and see their classmates after so long. In the past year, many students only saw a few friends or no people at all and social interaction is very important. Some classes have as few as one or two people, so it can be awkward at times with such an empty room and with most students on Zoom. This is just one cost, however, amongst the many benefits that students feel as they are now able to bring a sense of normalcy back to their lives at the end of the year.