THS Moves to Hybrid on February 16th


Andrew Edwards, Editor

Andrew Edwards 


The time has finally arrived. Starting February 16th, students in Frederick county will be able to finally return to the building for school. Even though not everybody is coming back to school, the opportunity for students to come back is finally here. There will be a lot of rules and regulations and every single precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of both students and staff but the excitement is real in regards to not having to learn at home. Although COVID-19 is still very present in the community, and everyone needs to still wear masks and maintain social distancing, gaining more opportunities to learn and being able to see old friends could make it all worthwhile if everyone can follow every rules and regulations. All these positives are now in effect but there are still many concerns and factors that could slow this long process down. 


The main concern for returning to school in hybrid mode is that COVID-19 is still flying through the community at a rapid rate. Most specifically, according to, in Frederick county, the current case count is at 16,294 as of February 12th. The death count as of the 12th in the county is 251 with 9 more probable deaths. Both of those statistics rank 6th among counties in the state. Although these statistics are alarming, the covid vaccine has been available for a few weeks as the state is currently in phase 1C of vaccination distribution with 605,410 having received the first dose, while 213,068 of those people have already received the second dose. Specifically in Federick county, 28,164 people have at least received the first dose of the vaccine which accounts for 10.851% of the population. There is a lot of promise in regards to more rapidly getting back to normalcy than before. With more and more people getting the vaccine everyday, it will make society safer and safer each day. 


On Wednesday February 10th, the Board of Eduation met with six principals in Frederick county to discuss how each individual school is doing in regards to planning for the hybrid model. One of the main topics of discussion was about how each school was approaching cleaning protocols and personal protective equipment (PPE). Some schools like Ballenger elementary have developed schedules for custodians to have the opportunity to clean as much as possible throughout the day. Most schools are keeping the same class transition schedule but are encouraging all students to get to class as quickly as possible (without running) and to not linger in the hallways. Bathroom breaks will be closely monitored at every school. According to the fredericknewspost, “…Ballenger Creek Middle School is utilizing hallway monitors and electronic passes to keep track of how many students are out of class at any given time, said principal Jay Schill.” FCPS Superintendent Terry Alban ended the metting reiterating that this hybrid model took a lot of time and effort and will work. She also stated that she has spoken to many teachers directly and encouraged them to reach out to her or the board if they feel unsafe or if they feel they don´t have the necessary protections and equipment in order to create a safe learnin environment. According to the fredericknewspost, “It is still possible Alban could decide to delay the hybrid model due to health metrics, but as of Wednesday night, hybrid learning was scheduled to start Feb. 16.” 


Nobody would be allowed bcak in the building unless FCPS thought it was safe enough to return. People are going to be scared and anxious because of the possibility there could be an outbreak but if everyone can follow all the rules that the county and schools have, then this hybrid plan should work especially with the growing distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone just needs to be as patient as possible and let this plan take its course in order to have the greatest chance of success.