Grants Pass High School students are demanding hybrid learning

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — High school students in the Grants Pass School District say they’re fed up with distance learning.

They want to get into the classroom and do hybrid learning like younger students.

“It’s not working and we’re not learning anything from it, really,” said Grants Pass High School junior, Hope Kalvelage.

Kindergarten through 3rd grade students are able to participate in hybrid learning in the G.P. School District, but older students are stuck in comprehensive distance learning – online.

Grants Pass School District says some students qualify for ‘limited in-person learning’, but its based on academic need. That could be a lack of internet access or the need to demonstrate specific skills to pass a class.

Kalvelage plans on participating in a student-led protest Thursday night.

“Instead of learning in class, we’re trying to find motivation to stay in class and that should never be the instance in school,” she said.

Her classmate, senior Kyle Bautista, is the organizer. He held a protest demanding in-person instruction last week and says he plans to keep holding them until change occurs.

“I’m trying to give the kids a voice, because they didn’t have one before, they didn’t have a choice in going back to school, which they should’ve,” he said.

The state sets the coronavirus metrics. Currently, Josephine County only qualifies for in-person learning at the youngest levels.

GPSD says the state is looking at potentially amending it’s in-person metrics, but right now, the soonest the district can hope for in-person classes at the high school level is the end of January.

However, that’s only¬†if the county keeps the COVID case count low.

Meanwhile, Bautista says he and his classmates will keep pushing for a change. “Hopefully more people will see it [the protests]. The big idea is to get it up to the governor and have her do something about it.”

The student led protest is happening this Thursday at the Josephine County Courthouse at 4 p.m.


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