CHS reflects on almost two months of hybrid learning



A survey of 70 CHS students from Oct. 26 to Nov.2.

Nina Kolodchak and Tim Wilburn

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the teachers and students of Communications High School carry on with classes in an unprecedented fashion. Computer screens have replaced the school’s once congested hallways and those who have returned to the building must follow strict regulations to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Despite the unfamiliar situations, students and staff members are determined to make this school year as enjoyable as possible. Even so, many are struggling with classes that have become more difficult under these new circumstances. 

“I think that my creative writing class, among many others, is harder not because of the assignments, but because there are often WiFi issues and I miss being in the classroom,” said senior Jacynth Apora of Manalapan. “Mrs. Vander Velde is a great teacher, and she knows how to ask questions and start conversations with students. She’s made the circumstances so much more bearable. I miss that person to person connection, and it definitely helps to have those days where I’m actually in school… I just love getting to say ‘hi’ to everyone.”

While hybrid learning has its benefits, virtual students are often at a disadvantage due to classroom dynamics, among other difficulties. Sophomore Brooke Sherokee of Keyport has been learning solely through technology.

“I’d definitely say that online classes are harder,” Sherokee said. “It’s a lot more awkward from home, especially when you’re trying to get help from a teacher. When we’re doing discussions, it’s a lot more complicated. For example, we had a graded discussion in English and it was hard to get a word in, which affected my grade. That being said, I’m thankful to have teachers that take everyone’s input into consideration, and they’re definitely making the most of a difficult situation.”

Teachers at CHS also have their fair share of mixed opinions about the hybrid learning system. Several staff members appear to have adjusted to this new way of teaching, but still face challenges when creating lesson plans and making sure all students are engaged.

“I’m doing a mix of both whole-class activities and in-person activities,” said English teacher Emily Crelin. “But, I think in the future I will stick with mostly virtual activities. The class just seems to run smoother when everyone is on the same page.”

Crelin also noted the difficulties of creating these activities, explaining that, “I’m essentially lesson planning for two classes within one period.”

Wayne Woolley, a media and communication teacher, also utilizes a mix of activities, with the cohort learning online collaborating with the cohort that’s physically in school. 

“Plans to engage all students have become simplified by my decision to keep everyone learning in synchronous fashion,” Woolley explained. 

Despite the challenges that students and teachers have been facing while navigating this “new normal” and the uncertainty of how long it will last, the reality is that at some point, like all things, this too shall pass.


“I think the biggest advice I have is to be patient,” Woolley said. “We are all going to get through this together. And while it may not feel like it now, at some point, CHS is going to be like it was, with everyone in the building, being loud and laughing a lot.”