My name is Chloe Moor and I am a freshman at Rhinebeck High School. I am concerned about the hybrid schedule that has students attending school in-person.
Before Winter break, I was in the Purple Cohort attending school, in-person, two days a week. After Winter Break, due to both the holiday season and New Year’s, my parents and I thought it would be wise for me to switch from in-person to 100% virtual.
We expected the school to change to a fully virtual schedule due to the rising rates of COVID-19 in Dutchess County.
To our surprise, the school opted to continue having students and teachers come in pursuant to the hybrid model, and resume the pre-break schedule.
When I heard that the school decided to bring students and teachers back, I was shocked. Not only have many teachers and students in our school tested positive for COVID-19, but we were reaching peak levels of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of this pandemic.
As reported in the New York Times, “Dutchess County is at an extremely high risk level,” which is the highest on the scale, and advises that “Older students should choose online instruction if possible.”
Additionally, the recent discoveries of more contagious COVID-19 variants in New York State further increases the risk of community transmission.
The decision to keep using the hybrid model with in-person attendance is not only putting the lives of the students and teachers in danger, it’s putting our entire community in danger.
This policy is bound to increase community spread.
How do I know?
I see peers socializing after school without masks, walking in large groups close together without masks, and dining together without masks.
Waiting for someone to become severely ill with COVID-19 before switching to a virtual model is simply unwise.
As a student who cares about my community, I believe that it’s my duty to speak out, and urge the school to consider going virtual.
There are lives at stake.