NOVA Middle School to expand successful hybrid learning program

NOVA Middle School to expand successful hybrid learning program

Two weeks ago, students of NOVA Middle School returned to class on campus for the first time this academic year. NOVA’s hybrid learning plan, implemented after careful consideration of the needs of students, parents and faculty, and the latest recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health, was an immediate success. Now, plans are underway to expand the program later this month.

In the current model, known as Hybrid 1, students were given the choice of staying fully in remote learning or coming onto campus two mornings per week for instruction. With just under 100 total students attending NOVA, 80% opted to return to campus. These students were divided into two cohorts, with each cohort coming to campus for morning classes on a Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday schedule. Afternoons and Wednesdays are spent in remote learning classes with the 20% of students who have remained in full-time distance learning. For all students, the school day begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 2:50 p.m.

The hybrid program has been met with praise from students, parents, and faculty. One student joyfully stated, “I feel so good being back at Nova. It’s like Nova is a part of me and coming back to Nova is like reconnecting with that missing part!” Building on this success, NOVA will launch its next phase, dubbed Hybrid 2, on March 22.

Currently, the morning classes taught on campus are core subjects: Math, History, and Language Arts. These will continue in Hybrid 2, with NOVA’s signature enrichment classes being offered to each cohort on their respective Thursday and Friday afternoons. Students in the Monday/Thursday cohort, for example, will continue to have core classes on campus in the mornings, and on Thursdays will remain on campus for instruction until 2 p.m.

The on-campus enrichment classes being offered in the afternoons include Spanish plays, disc golf, civics, biking, and outdoor music classes. Students who remain in remote learning will also have a large number of enrichment offerings open to them, including such NOVA staples as orchestra, choir, video game design, environmental filmmaking, and Zentangle.

NOVA continues to plan for students to have more time on campus as circumstances improve. In the meantime, the administration is doing their utmost to ensure the safety and health of the entire NOVA population, while offering students the academic challenge and community environment that has made NOVA an Olympia mainstay for nearly 30 years.