MUNDELEIN, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Students at Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein have been learning in-person on a hybrid model since the start of the school year.
“Early summer we put together a plan for hybrid learning, the result was highly successful with 12 weeks of in-person hybrid education that really benefited our students who wanted the in-person interaction,” said Brian Stith, director of marketing and admissions at Carmel Catholic High School.
As public schools debate if and when students can return to the classroom, Carmel’s admissions department has received daily phone calls from parents of teens enrolled in nearby public high schools looking to transfer.
“Typically when entering the spring semester in January, it’s a small number of transfers, we typically see anywhere from three to five. Right now for the spring semester, we’re in contact with about 30 families,” said Stith.
With just over 1,000 students, the high school has been able to accommodate a hybrid learning model with 50 percent of students in the building at any given time.
Carmel’s hybrid model also includes heated outdoor tents for dining and fine arts, multiple cameras in every classroom to live stream teachers for those who opt to learn from home and daily health screenings.
Stith acknowledged not every high school can adopt their learning model.
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all type plan but we did what we thought was best for our community, for our students, and that has generated a significant amount of interest for us,” he said.
Although transfer interest is at an all time high, many families are waiting to see what the public school spring semester holds before making the switch.
“If the local public school districts do open up in early January and launch hybrid, then that interest will go away pretty quickly,” added Stith.
Carmel students are currently on a scheduled e-learning break from Thanksgiving through the new year due to concern over travel and time spent with family.
They will return to hybrid in-person learning on January 5.