Zoom Still Lingers Even After Hybrid Learning

Even though there are no longer hybrid classes, Zoom continues to be incorporated into MHS in 2021-2022.


Photo Courtesy of Kiera Butler

The all-too-familiar Zoom homescreen users see before logging in to a meeting.

Tista Goswami, Managing Editor

After the past year and a half of hybrid and remote learning, Zoom has been a fixture in the lives of all students, teachers, and staff at Mamaroneck High School. Whether it be for class, office hours, or a club meeting, students have relied on Zoom for a semblance of social interaction with their fellow students and teachers. 

Over the summer, New York State announced that they will not be requiring schools to offer a fully-remote option to students and their families. Thus, the Mamaroneck School District has decided against providing a fully-remote option in an effort to maximize in-person learning. Hence, many are wondering: are we saying goodbye to Zoom?

The answer is: mostly. This year, teachers will not be logging into Zoom at all except in the case that one of their students is quarantined. However, the process of getting quarantined is far less frequent and more complex than it was last year. Principal Elizabeth Clain says, “If a student needs to quarantine, they will be required to show evidence of their exposure to COVID-19. After confirmation, a Zoom link will be provided for that student only.” The revised quarantining policy states if a student exposed to COVID-19 is fully vaccinated, they will not be required by the school to quarantine. According to recent numbers, the majority of MHS students are fully vaccinated, so quarantining and remote learning not be required by the school to quarantine. According to recent numbers, the majority of MHS students are fully vaccinated, so quarantining and remote learning will hopefully not be a widespread issue.

Students will only log into a Zoom class if they are quarantined. However, if a student is absent on vacation or has a minor cold, such accommodations will not be provided. “Logging onto Zoom everyday and juggling an online and in-person class is a burden to teachers that we don’t want to put on them again this year,” Clain explains. 

Outside of the classroom, many meetings were held in a through Zoom. These virtual meetings, which included faculty meetings and counselor meetings, had certain conveniences. In particular, the Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings have seen the benefits of working through Zoom. Students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) are required to have a meeting in the spring with the CSE to plan out their goals for the following school year. The CSE meetings require a general education teacher, a special education teacher, a counselor, a psychologist, a parent, and the student to attend and are a big time commitment for all parties. After holding these meetings on Zoom, Clain noticed that there were far fewer cancellations. Clain attributes this change to Zoom’s “amenability with parent schedules.”

Similar to meetings, many in-person events were also converted to a virtual format because of the pandemic. Parent events, such as Back to School Night or PTA presentations, had significantly more people logging on. “At my in-person PTA presentations, I would have around 20 people in attendance. That number greatly increased when held on Zoom,” Clain adds. Yet, despite the seemingly increased attendance in the virtual format, engagement is not as easily quantifiable. Clain says, “It’s really important to see people and build relationships. It’s very important to meet and know our families.”

In the next few years, Zoom won’t be a fixed institution in the school. However, if there are special cases, such as students in long-term hospitalization that want to participate in that way, accommodations can be made.

Clain remarks on the changes we’ve seen over the past year, “I remember walking around the school at this time last year, when we had this fear of gathering, and now walking and seeing a class of 25 sitting together and engaging. It’s amazing.” Clain is excited for the Mamaroneck community to return to the play, the musical, sporting events, among in-person other events as we embark on a school year where “virtual” is no longer the norm.