Students urge Board of Education to make Hybrid 2.5 a reality

PSD+COVID-19+numbers+as+of+December+1%2C+2020.+Due+to+the+rising+cases+during+Phase+3%2C+PSD+schools+will+continue+remote+learning+until+the+end+of+winter+break.

https://www.psdschools.org/psd2020-21/COVID19schoolstatus

PSD COVID-19 numbers as of December 1, 2020. Due to the rising cases during Phase 3, PSD schools will continue remote learning until the end of winter break.

Caroline Sears, News Director

Poudre School District has faced many difficult decisions during this year. The recent transition from hybrid learning to remote came with lots of discussion amongst students.

While some simply accepted it, Rock Mountain High School junior, Dylan Lindsey, has decided to take his thoughts a step further— and make them a reality. Alongside Fossil Ridge High School’s own Mia Pillote, Lindsey is masterminding a plan to utilize the best aspects from both Phase 2 and Phase 3.

Pillote and Lindsey noted the mistakes made by students, and the district as a whole, when Phase 3 was introduced. Taking feedback from peers, they created the 2.5 proposal.

The Hybrid 2.5 proposal is a compromise, allowing students to attend school in-person for classes that are enriched by hands-on experience. Language, the arts, science, and physical education classes would be priorities, but exams that require proctoring would also be included. The plan was crafted with not only students’ safety in mind, but also the quality of their education.

Depending on the issue of transportation, the proposal could expand to accommodate all grade levels, but as of right now, the model is fit for high school students.

No formal date has been announced for when this would start, as it has not formally been recognized as part of PSD’s four-phase plan. Pillote stated, “…best case scenario, we’d be able to get it in place for the spring semester. But the Board of Education moves slowly.” 

The feedback from various high school principals around the district has been inconsistent, but over fifty teachers have anonymously submitted feedback to the team or declared their support for the plan. 

“The disparity in how easy it is for a student voice to be heard was huge within the city level…where the school is almost minimizing and demeaning seeing me as a student, it’s almost like my voice was being oppressed or hushed,” stated Lindsey. 

Phase 2.5 is just an example of the power that student voices have.”

— Dylan Lindsey

Both Lindsey and Pillote are active within the district and northern Colorado when it comes to politics and saw this as an opportunity to put their skills to work. Lindsey plans on going into politics as a career, as he has devoted his life to changing the world. 

Lindsey is actively in communication with Colorado state senator Joann Ginal and House Representative Cathy Kipp, in order to show the importance of this conversation to the school board. 

Despite the Board of Education stalemate, the team has stayed motivated with a larger goal in mind. “Now’s the time when I want to start thinking about what I’m leaving behind at the school, I’m here for three more semesters,” stated Lindsey. And what he wants to leave behind is an environment where student voices are heard and valued. 

There are no students or current teachers on the PSD Board of Education and Lindsey knows “there’s no way for there to be accurate representation without a student on the school board,” 

Lindsey sees this as an opportunity to start conversations with students and administration. He stated, “Phase 2.5 is just an example of the power that student voices have.” 

With the student body torn over the remote learning plan and coronavirus cases in the United States at an all-time high, the need for such a compromise has never been more urgent. As of December 1, Lindsey is calling for the Board of Education to recognize their proposal as part of the four-phase COVID-19 plan or at least resume communication with students. He urges students to stay informed and reach out to administration to get their voices heard.

Lindsey hopes to facilitate a virtual town hall for PSD students to communicate with superintendents before the end of this year. If you would like to know more, check out their website, and if you are compelled to help make Hybrid 2.5 a reality, sign this petition.