Students voice opinions on new BCPS hybrid plan


Cassie Weymouth and Erin Patterson

As everyone knows, students have been in online school since March of 2020. Finally in Spring 2021, an end is in sight. The official Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) hybrid plan was released February 1.  However, many questions follow the announcement: How effective is the reopening plan? Do people want it? What even is the hybrid plan?

The BCPS plan was presented in a 152 page PDF. It outlines the re-entry timeline varying by students’ grade and assigned cohort. Students have the option to participate in the in-person hybrid learning or stay virtual. Here is a condensed version of the re-entry plan, available via the Student Timeline one-pager


 Though BCPS seems to have a clear action plan, many parents and students appear divided about their decision to either try hybrid or stay virtual. According to the survey released to Dulaney students, 64 out of 132 students plan to remain virtual, while 62 out of 132 plan on going back to hybrid. Others remained undecided or planned to try hybrid before making their final decision. When students were asked why they made the ultimate decision to return through the hybrid plan, the consensus was that people wanted to either regain the social aspect of school or felt they would learn better in an in- person environment.

Another serious consideration when deciding how students will attend school for the remainder of the year is the safety and comfort level of students, parents and staff. According to a Griffin survey, when asked to rate their comfort level from one to five, 71.2 percent were at a three or below with 28.8 percent being at a four or above. In addition, with the re-opening plan, virtual and hybrid students will still attend the same class. As a result, it is uncertain how effective this mix will be. 58.3 percent say that learning will be affected somewhat or greatly in a bad way, 10.6 percent in either a good way or somewhat of a good way and 31.1 percent believe there will be no effect.

The last question on the survey requested any students to share their additional thoughts and opinions if comfortable. We received several statements from students.

“I’m afraid that the teachers will pay more attention to the questions and needs of the kids in person and less to the virtual kids.” Another student who wished to remain anonymous added, “I think the main reason kids want to go back to school is for the social aspect. Social distancing and every desk facing in the same direction is taking away the biggest reason kids want to be in school,”  said Sophomore Laura Pohl.

Regardless of what students decide, it is a step forward for Baltimore County. Going from little communication from BCPS to a multi-phase reopening plan, the process to return to schools is on the way.