Pandemic Brings New Schedule

Chris-Tina Middlebrook, Lead Writer

The past few months, (though some would say the whole year in general) has been hard on everyone. At the start of the year, no one could have guessed a virus could make everyone, and everything, stop in their tracks.

This is no different in Burlington City.

Although many have gone back to work, and the majority of the stores opened up slowly, one question many had was what would happen when fall arrived and school was scheduled to begin.

Even as the school year was rapidly approaching, changes were being made to school schedules throughout the state. Just prior to the official start of the school year, it was decided that Burlington City would begin the year all remote like many other schools across the state. The remote state allowed more time to ensure the safety of the students, and to make certain that the technology needed would be accessible for all students. Burlington City students continued on learning remotely until October 13, when finally students would return to school using the Hybrid Schedule initially planned for the start of the year.

After Columbus Day weekend, Burlington City students finally had the opportunity to return to school. Students were placed in either the White Cohort or the Blue Cohort based on their name.

“The goal of the Hybrid schedule is to offer in-person learning to students while still keeping everyone safe in terms of social distancing,” Mr. Flynn said. “We are able to have up to half of our entire student body learn in-person safely here at BCHS.”

The school day begins promptly at 8:00 AM and ended at Noon, giving the students time to get home, have lunch, and log into Office Hours, which is designed to help students who are struggling in class. Students in the Blue Cohort meet on Mondays and Tuesdays, and students in the White Cohort follow by meeting on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday remains an all remote day for all students and staff.

 “The idea to have a Hybrid schedule was due to the health department’s recommendation to have six feet of social distancing and to not have more than half of students in the school at one time,” Mr. Flynn, Principal of Burlington City High School, said.

“The members of the district’s Restart and Recovery Committee recommended a Hybrid schedule for all schools in our district.”

Though students had the opportunity to meet in person or remain virtual, it still left administrators with concern over maintaining student attendance regardless of whether they would be traveling into the school or staying at home.

“Attendance in school is one of the most important aspects of being successful.  Students who are in the Hybrid cohort or All Remote cohort need to follow the schedule so that they can attend all of their classes. “

 Because of the high rate that COVID-19 spreads, the district continued to monitor and quarantine when needed. A spike in cases around the county led to a return to all remote learning in mid-November. Still, plans are in place for students to return safely in January.

“As we all know, BCHS and the other schools in our district will be on All Remote learning until January 19, 2021,” Mr. Flynn state. “ I hope the Covid-19 data shows that we are ready for in-person learning from January 19th through the remainder of the school year.”

While this year has been nothing short of a whirlwind, hopefully. 2021 will allow us the opportunity to get back to the basics of school and no longer be concerned with being around our classmates and teachers.