Back To School

University Prep’s hybrid plan is in full swing this semester, giving students the opportunity to learn on campus.

Chemistry+teacher+Mikayla+Patella-Buckley+and+Junior+Andrew+Bell+wipe+down+tables+at+the+beginning+of+class.

Photo: Siona

Chemistry teacher Mikayla Patella-Buckley and Junior Andrew Bell wipe down tables at the beginning of class.

University Prep’s hybrid plan is in full swing this semester, giving students the opportunity to learn on campus.
The new schedule beginning Wednesday, March 10th, enables students to attend in-person classes for a full day on a rotating schedule 2-3 times per week in the same green and blue cohorts. Students will have 95 minute class periods with a grab-and-go lunch offered by the commons cafe.
Richard Kassissieh, Head of School for Academics and Strategic Initiatives, has been working hard with the administration to develop a schedule that works well for all members of the UPrep Community.
“The goal was always to operate for a full day while still giving our students a quality education,” Kassissieh said. “We learned a lot from the trial runs and working with different schedules to see what worked best and I think we have arrived at a schedule that feels more permanent.”
Kassissieh also believes that scaling up to 95 minute class periods is a better way to accommodate students and teachers.
“95 minutes is something new for UPrep and I know is something that students might not be used to but it gives the class a lot more flexibility,” Kassissieh said. “It definitely doesn’t mean teachers talking at their students for the full class period but rather a mix of class time, asynchronous work, and smaller group work. This also allows both on-campus and online students to receive attention and engage.”
Students such as junior Carly Ragen, have been enjoying their on-campus experience thus far.
“Overall it’s been pretty positive”, Ragen said. “It is fun to be back in the classroom and it feels similar to a typical school day.”
Ragen also feels the quality of learning on campus is much higher.
“I don’t know if I am necessarily learning more, but I am definitely learning better in-person,” Ragen said. “It is a lot easier to stay focused, and feels like a much more normal learning environment than on my computer.”