Students say hybrid model is the most responsible choice for now


Current poll results for the survey sent out to Fargo North students.

The day is finally upon us: Fargo Public Schools has gone back to full in-person learning for the first time since March 13, 2020. Teachers and adults all seem to have the idea in their head that the students want to be back in school full-time and how our mental health will improve so much by being at school five days a week. However, this is not the case for the majority of students right here at Fargo North.
We sent out a survey to all Fargo North students, and 406 students responded with results that may surprise you if you are not a student. From the responses we gathered, 67% believe hybrid is the most appropriate learning platform for now, 18.5% think we should go distance, and only 14.5% say we should go full in-person. For those who don’t like percentages, 272 students think we should stay hybrid, 75 think we should go 100% distance, and just 59 students think we should be returning to school full in-person.
Another component of this survey was the option to provide the reasoning behind your response, and many students gave well-thought out responses; some students even wrote paragraphs, showing how passionate some students’ opinions are on this topic. A trend among the majority of students is the fact that obviously all students wished we could be in-person all together. However, with looking at the current stats and at where we are in this pandemic, it makes the most sense to continue hybrid.
As one student said in the survey, “Going 100% in person is not a good decision. Staying hybrid is working very well, so why try and fix a thing that isn’t broken. We’ve all gotten used to the schedules so it’s just easier to stick with the current plan. Plus it is much safer having half the school in at a time than the whole school, where it would be impossible to social distance.”
Another student took a similar stance by stating, “We’re never going to get over the virus if we keep falling for the same loop, when the numbers are low that’s because we are taking precautions, low numbers should never be used as a reason to open up schools until the threat is eliminated. Any spread caused because of the school is spread that could have been prevented. In order to minimize spread as much as possible nobody should be going to a physical location for school.”
It is a fact that many students disliked hybrid when it started, but now students have been in this unique school schedule for a few months now. Something students need even more now than a daily school schedule is a consistent schedule, which is what hybrid has provided.
One student said, “I believe that many students have gotten used to the hybrid system and would not cope well with such a sudden transition. It would cause unnecessary stress. Also, given the data, switching back to 100% in person would undoubtedly worsen the situation even more.”
Another student said, “As much as I want to see my friends, I also want consistency and I hope we stick with what we have going right now.”
In hopes that we could express these opinions, we sent an email with our data attached, to superintendent Dr. Gandhi.
To our surprise, we received a response about 20 hours later. This response, though, felt very much like a template that was used to send to anyone who has anything to say against his agenda. The response, though id did address our main concern of mental health, seemed to overlook every point we constructed and frankly seemed like he was not willing to change his plans. This really was not a surprise to us, though we had some bit of hope that he would maybe make new considerations given we had data to support our opinions.
Another senior at North voiced their concern to the superintendent only to receive the exact same response that Jackson received. This leads us to believe that, not only are our concerns being widely ignored, but also that the superintendent has an automated response to ignore those concerns.
Following this email, Sam Jackson got in contact with Lori Cline, who is in charge of the CARE group (Community Alliance for Responsible Education) that advocates for “The safest, most equitable learning environments for all students and staff.” This contact helped Jackson reach a Forum reporter, who helped get our information out to the community in the Jan. 13 edition of the Forum.
To the students at North High who were hoping to maintain a consistent schedule for more than a few months, we are truly sorry. We tried our best to voice the opinions of the ones who are most affected by these changes: the students. This doesn’t have to be the end though. If you ever feel passionate about something that you think needs to be changed, always make your voice be heard and share your thoughts with those in charge.