School district votes for hybrid learning model as El Dorado County moves into state’s orange tier

Local News

EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. (KTXL) — Another local school district has adopted a hybrid learning model. 

Leaders of the El Dorado Union High School District voted unanimously Tuesday night to transition to partial, in-class instruction. 

It comes as El Dorado County recently moved into Governor Gavin Newsom’s less restrictive orange tier.

Hybrid learning is set to begin on Oct. 8 for EDUHSD schools. It will involve two days a week of in-class instruction and the rest of the week focused on virtual learning. 

Dozens of families lined the streets outside of Oak Ridge High School earlier in the day calling on EDUHSD to reopen for in-person classes.

“We are here to be our own students’ union,” said mother Kristen Roeder. “We are fighting for our students.”

Like most campuses across the Golden State, the district kicked off the school year with all-distance learning.

But the parents demonstrating said their kids have suffered academically under that online model. 

“This is clearly not providing the education that is equivalent to in-person instruction,” Roeder said. “With El Dorado County being in the orange tier, there is no reason our kids should not be in school.”

After being cleared to open part-time by county health officials, the district surveyed 3,091 parents for their input on a possible hybrid learning plan. In response, 2,520 parents voted in favor of part-time classes and 571 opposed, with some of those parents indicating a preference for full-time instruction only.

“We want our kids to get the most out of their education and teaching, and then we want to go full-time as quickly as possible,” said mother Camille Wessling.

Before voting on the matter at a virtual meeting, the district welcomed community feedback and got a mixed response.

“I am vehemently opposed to the hybrid learning model,” said father Craig Bart. “For somebody with an autoimmune disease, we would be risking possibly sacrificing his health for his education.”

Even some teachers in the district weighed in with their concerns.

“Kids will have more learning to complete without the help from their teachers. There will be less instruction for our special needs students,” said Oak Ridge High School teacher Erin Arthur. “Teachers have received zero training in hybrid instruction and it will take weeks before things are running smoothly again.”

But the majority of parents surveyed said learning entirely at home isn’t the best option and said they looked forward to the day they can once again send their kids off to the classroom. 

“This is what our students need and deserve,” Roeder said. “Let’s make the next step the best step for our kids.”

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