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GHEC sticking with hybrid model

GRANADA — With a recent upswing in positive COVID-19 cases in Martin County, area schools are transitioning to a distance-learning or hybrid model for students.

The Granada-Huntley-East Chain district is no different.

“We have decided to continue to have our middle and high school students in a hybrid model next week,” said Superintendent Doug Storbeck. “So that’s a continuation of what we started this last Monday, and we’re also transitioning our elementary students into a hybrid model.

“Fortunately, we are still able to host all of our elementary students here in the building within the hybrid model. We’re just going to do some switching of classrooms to make sure that we’re maintaining social distancing. We’ll also have some other preventative measures in place, such as cutting down on transitions between classes and other things to minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

Storbeck said the key factor behind the decision to maintain a hybrid model is the fact that the school has not seen any reported cases of the virus among students or staff.

“We do realize that there are many cases occurring throughout the county, but we’re just not seeing it in our building,” he said. “So that was our justification for continuing to provide a hybrid situation, so we can provide some in-person instruction to a certain degree. We ultimately feel that providing in-person instruction is better than the distance-learning option.”

Storbeck said the decision is subject to change should confirmed positive cases rise.

“We’re kind of on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “We’re going to be reviewing the data each day and we put it out there that it could change on a dime. But for right now, we’re going to move forward with the hybrid model.

“We want to focus on how things are impacting our school and our community. So the question is are we seeing outbreaks in our community, in our staff, or our students, because if we’re losing students or staff out of our school building then it makes sense to transition to distance learning. But we’re just not seeing that right now.

Storbeck points out that other districts are responding as needed, noting that situations differ between districts.

“I respect that other school districts within the county are choosing to go to distance learning, but they are also seeing cases within their school district,” he said. “So I just think that they’re in a different situation than we are at this point.

“But we’re very conscious of everything that’s going on each and every day, and we’re cautiously optimistic. We want to provide the best education as possible for our students. I hope it all works out in our favor, but we don’t have a crystal ball.”

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