When the COVID-19 pandemic made in-person gatherings dangerous, school scheduling was overhauled. In Cedar Rapids high schools, the student body was split in two, each half alternating between in-person and online learning daily. The typical seven-class schedule was also changed to block scheduling.
Now, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available to anyone at least age 12. As the situation returns to normal, school schedules will change once again to compensate.
A total return to pre-pandemic school is not planned. Block scheduling — four long class periods per day and a rotating A/B day schedule, with different classes on each — is permanent. Hand sanitizing stations are still going to be found in every classroom.
However, the online integration of classes will be gone. There will no longer be a choice to come to school in person. If you sign up for an online class, the class will be taken online. Otherwise, all students are expected to come back to school fully in person. Some teachers will continue teaching to online and in-person students at the same time, but students in those classes will not be allowed to choose the class format daily.
Cohorts, or teams, have also been removed for the 2021-2022 school year. Students will no longer be separated by last name into two teams. Without the alternating online and in-person schedules aiming to reduce the amount of students in the building at once, teams have become unnecessary.
That doesn’t mean online classes have disappeared, though. Students can sign up to take a number of classes online through a form in an email sent by the CRCSD. Every online class has a self-paced option, where students complete assignments through the website Edgenuity at their own speed. A few classes also have teacher-led options, where students will be required to join a Google Meet at a specific time to be in class, but will have a teacher to confide in while they work.
COVID-19 precautions have been scaled back in some ways compared to the 2020-2021 school year. By Iowa law, masks will be optional at all schools. However, frequent cleanings of desk surfaces, doorknobs and other potential germ hotspots will continue for the foreseeable future. A decision hasn’t been made about social distancing yet.
Vaccines requirements for school attendance would be decided at a state level, but nothing has been announced yet.
Though most aspects of the COVID-19 hybrid schedule won’t stay for next year, the option to take nearly any class online is permanent. Anyone can choose to take classes online, and vaccinated students can enjoy the return to in-person learning alongside everyone else, without wearing masks.