Principals’ Progress Report

Interviews with the Dakota Principals about Hybrid Learning

Alessandro Romero, Writer

With students heading into a completely new situation with hybrid learning, there is bound to be questions about how the campus is handling it. Everyone within the Dakota community must deal with new challenges to safety and students’ education. To reflect on the campus’s first week in hybrid learning, both Principals Jones of the Ninth Grade Center and Principal Koskos of the Main Building share their thoughts on the new, strange situation through interviews conducted by me. 

I sat down to interview Principal Jones first. When asked what he thought were the most important current challenges that the campus must face, the principal explained that the most important challenge was to provide a quality education while being safeAfter his response, I then posed the question of what was being set out to address these safety issues. Jones planned on keeping the same safety policies that the campus has in place right nowespecially mask wearing and constant movement within the hallways. To better explain this plan, the question of what role students were to play was brought upHe mentioned the importance of following the previously established safety policies, but he also emphasized heavily on students being understanding towards their peers about their feelings during this period.   

With those series of questions regarding challenges being done, I asked the Principal what the overall performance of the school’s handling of education and safety was. Jones, keeping in mind that it is the first week, claimed that it was a great success for the school with the community having “flexibility” and “patience.” Even with a successful performance, the question of how the campus could improve was establishedPrincipal Jones responded by highlighting safety guidelines, but also having students give feedback to staff when they feel concerns. With the question of how students could give feedback being brought up; Jones talked about Schoology, email, Microsoft Teams, in-person conversation with staff, and scheduled meetings with staff. Those were the remaining questions left, which gave a sense of the principal having pride for his students.  

Later in the day, I interviewed Principal Koskos. As I did with Principal Jones, I brought up the question of what challenges faced the campus. The principal believes that the specifics with cleaning “required the most adjusting” and students have also done a good job on following policies. After questioning how the campus were to combat these issues, Koskos stated that what they are doing as of now is working now: a digital-form system that supplies teachers with supplies, and students volunteering when they need to. I wanted Principal Koskos elaborate on students’ role that was shortly mentioned; so, he explained that students’ large influence, even with a reduced size, makes them important to school safety. 

With the campus’s challenges being established, I asked what Principal Koskos felt about our performance for both education and safety. Based on the feedback he has received, Principal Koskos believed that there is much more comfort and ease for students with classes as missed elements of class have returned like face-to-face lecturesI inquired Koskos to elaborate more on these missed elements. Koskos that the sense that of intimacy in the classroom had been lost that has allowed teachers to understand their students’ feelings more and for students to be engaged. I then prompted how can the campus improve, which Principal Koskos said that keeping a “positive momentum” going and to not let the “honeymoon period to fadeI questioned what a fade in “honeymoon period” would look like. Principal Koskos explained that a dwindle could look like students would being more careless when it came to safety procedure and opportunities to leave the classroom, which he hoped would be solved by positive ways that would avoid conflict. For more detail on avoiding negative conflict at my request, he elaborated that the situation is already in “a pretty firm stance” for safety reasons; but Koskos explained that staff used what he called “progressive discipline,” which is actions that progress in severity to change behavior. Thus, my interview ended with Principal Koskos after that question.  

In both interviews, Principal Koskos and Principal Jones felt that hybrid learning was a success. The two principals both highlighted how students’ relationships with the rules and staff members play a role in the success and the optimistic future of hybrid learning. They also believed that students are doing good in playing their in hybrid schooling.