Aberdeen school prepares for hybrid learning this fall

VIDEO: Aberdeen school prepares for hybrid learning this fall

ABERDEEN, Wash. — School starts Tuesday for kids at Saint Mary School in Aberdeen.

While most schools across the state are going 100% virtual this fall, the small private school in Grays Harbor County is taking a hybrid-model approach.

“We really tried to create a plan for the fall that was, number one, safe for all our students and staff, but, number two, also helped optimize learning for our students and part of that is getting that face-to-face time with their instructor,” said Carrie Marlow, the principal at Saint Mary School.

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Class sizes will be small with just five or six kids.

Students in Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten will go to school for four hours a day, four days a week. Students in Kindergarten through eighth grade will go to class one day a week and distance learn the rest of the week.

“One day a week is better than nothing,” said Felix Romero.

Romero is heading into eighth grade. He said he learns best in the classroom.

“I’m just happy that we get to go back to school and actually see people cause it’s hard, online is hard,” said Romero. “I need a teacher to talk to me so I can talk to them.”

Inside the school desks are spaced out, and there’s tape on the floor reminding kids to social distance.

Marlow said safety is key. They’ll do health screenings and temperature checks every day.

“One thing I’m really proud of is all of our students are coming in already wearing their masks, comfortable in those masks and just ready to go and that’s just really exciting to see,” she said.

Kids at school will also get recess. In between each group there will be a 10-minute break so staff can wipe down the playground equipment.

Marlow said they’ll keep close tabs on COVID-19 and hope to expand in-class learning once case numbers consistently go down.