After nearly a year away from school because of the pandemic, most of La Salle Prep’s 650 students started returning to campus on Feb. 22.
More than 500 of La Salle's 650 students opted to enroll in its new hybrid learning program, in which students spend half of their school days taking classes on campus and the other half taking classes remotely. Students not enrolled in hybrid learning continue to learn from home full-time, watching the in-person lessons in real time via their computers.
La Salle gave students the option of hybrid learning so the school could offer in-person instruction while still complying with small group and 6-foot social distance requirements set by local health authorities.
“Young people have recognized the need to stay home and keep communities safe even though they are not the most at risk,” said interim principal Alanna O’Brien. “At the same time, they have given up so much — sports, time with friends, organized activities and social events — at a time in their lives when these pieces are so important to their well-being and development.”
”We worried about students feeling isolated or lonely, and it’s difficult to check on them when you don’t see them in person,” she said. “Our move to hybrid instruction will allow for stronger relationships to develop as we care for our entire student body.”
La Salle is phasing in the hybrid learning program by bringing in small groups of students — called cohorts — on different days of the week starting Feb. 22. By Friday, Feb. 26, everyone who signed up for hybrid learning will have received a day’s worth of in-person instruction.
Several students said they were glad to be back at school.
George Gilmore '21 said he enjoyed seeing his friends and teachers again. Plus, he said, “it's probably better for me.”