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Many John Young Middle School students return to hybrid learning

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 6:32 PM EST
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - After a couple of long months learning virtually, many seventh graders at John Young Middle School are back in the building on Tuesday.

“In person, you get to look at the teacher, like [at] all your friends and on the white board. I get more focused, so I do better,” remarked Kamdon Putz, a seventh-grade student.

Improving learning comprehension and allowing the teens to socialize are among the reasons district administrators wanted junior high students at their desks for part of the week.

“When [a teacher] is giving a lecture or giving a lesson, those facial cues by the students, ‘Do they get it, or don’t they?’ It’s harder to read virtually, seeing a kid in a little square on a monitor. Not only that, middle school - kids need the socialization. They need to be around their peers. They need to find out - they need to go explore what they’re interested in,” explained Principal Mike Fisher.

7th graders will learn in the building on Mondays and Tuesdays while 8th graders come Thursdays and Fridays. Everyone has virtual learning on Wednesdays and on the days that they are not in the school building.

Desks are spaced at least 4 feet apart, and masks can be removed only at lunch time.

John Young students switched to virtual-only in November when Covid-19 cases increased in St. Joseph County. Putz is glad to have a sense of normalcy again.

“It’s been way better to actually communicate in person [with friends] at lunch because I don’t really see them anymore,” he said.

Fisher said 87 percent of John Young students are pursuing the hybrid model the rest of the semester.

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