Hybrid Learning Is Not The Answer

While some school boards viewed the hybrid model of learning as necessary during the pandemic to keep our kids and communities safe, it magnified the underlying inequities in our education system and created a fractured learning environment for our students. As we start into a new school year, we must ensure that every student has access to the resources and supports they need to succeed.

Hybrid Learning compromises the quality of our students’ education

What is hybrid learning?  It is a model of learning used by some school boards in Ontario during the pandemic where students are participating in a class simultaneously in one of two ways – some are the physical classroom in person, while other students are participating in the class remotely from home through a webcam in the classroom.  This divides the attention of educators between those students in the classroom and those students that appear on a computer screen.

While some students have managed the challenges of the pandemic well, many have had a harder time. Despite the best efforts of Ontario’s educators to ensure our students have had access to the academic, emotional, and mental health supports they need, hybrid learning has created a fractured learning environment, forcing educators to split their time and attention between in-person and remote students while limiting access the one-on-one supports our students need to succeed. This model hurts the students trying to learn from home and the students trying to learn in person.

Numerous studies have shown that safe, in-person learning maximizes students’ cognitive, emotional, and social development.
But, with hybrid learning, teachers and education workers cannot give students the individual attention they need, especially those students who require additional supports to succeed. The model does not give students the time and supports they require to thrive.
In fact, according to a recent survey of nearly 9,500 Canadian education workers and teachers, 55% said fewer students are meeting learning objectives this year and nearly 70% said they think some students will not catch up academically. This is proof that in-person learning leads to the greatest success. Students have the best chance of success when they can learn in-person, with dedicated teachers and education workers there to meet their needs.
After a year and a half of disruptions, we can’t afford to exacerbate those issues by extending Hybrid Learning when there’s clearly no need. 
School boards had the option to set up temporary virtual schools during the pandemic to provide learning for the few students who wanted to learn from home. Many school boards have temporary virtual schools, but some boards do not, opting for using a hybrid model of learning instead.

Some boards have rightly recognized the detrimental impact of hybrid learning on students. But, with hybrid learning, teachers and education workers cannot give students the individual attention they need, especially those students who require additional supports to succeed. Some boards are ignoring this fact, and continue to use the hybrid model.  

When we know the model doesn’t work, we can’t consider it as a sound education model. Our students deserve a return to normal. And a return to normal cannot mean a return to status quo — it must mean a return to safe, in-person learning.  
A hybrid model is about cutting costs at a time when our kids need more support, not less.
If you agree, send a letter to the Premier, the Minister of Education, your local MPP and School Board Chairs calling on them to say NO to Hybrid learning.