Keeping up with blended classes


Photo by Carlos Allen

Students work on math assignments and have a snack in the LRC just before final exams.

By Adamaris Mancera, Reporter

West Chicago Community High School looks to continue blended classes for the upcoming school year.

This school year, WEGO’s English and CTE departments added three sections of classes that are “blended”, meaning that they give students independent work time during the week; during those blended days, students are able to complete their assignments from other parts of the building, including the English hub, LRC, outside the auditorium, and in the Student Activities Center.

Blended courses allow students to do their homework for that class or others; if they are struggling in a subject, a blended class may provide them with the opportunity to take a break during the day and focus on what they need to get done. 

Many students are enjoying the freedom that they are getting with these blended classes, and would like for additional blended courses to be added. Currently, there is a blended section of Critical Reading, Writer’s Workshop, and Consumer Ed. 

Next year for the 2023-2024 school year there will be two sections of blended critical reading and then only one blended section of Writer’s Workshop in the English department. 

Those in the program this year recommended the blended option to other students.

“I would like more blended classes. I think science would be a good blended class too,” senior Joanna Morales said.

Blended learning gives students the opportunity to complete assignments independently in one of several spaces across the school. However, at this time, only a select number of courses have a blended option. (Photo by Carlos Allen)

There are teachers that are really enjoying this new style of teaching; however, it took some time to get used to this, seeing as though this is the first year they are teaching a blended class. Blended classes have teachers excited to try something new during the week. Blended classes are smaller, so teachers are able to connect better with students. Ultimately, some teachers see all classes heading down the road of blended learning at some point.

“I was a little apprehensive at first because I had never done it before and didn’t know how the attendance would work. Once I got the swing of things, I absolutely love it because Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, the classes are, you know, eight to nine kids, and so I feel like I have gotten close with those kids on those days,” English teacher Mary Fremeau said. 

At the moment, blended classes at WEGO are only open to upperclassmen but soon they may become open to all grade levels.  

“I think down the road we can see it expanding to other grades in those classes are primarily seniors. In Consumer’s Ed, juniors can take it as well, so as it is now, it is open to juniors and seniors,” CTE division head Marc Wolfe said.

Due to the fact that blended classes only meet a handful of times during the week, students taking blended courses must be responsible and independent. Those who have a low D or F cannot “blend” until their grade goes up.

“I would recommend taking a blended course to explore learning with a different instructional strategy. This style of course is available in colleges and universities, so it gives students a safe practice space to explore how it works and if this strategy works well for you. I also think it gives students an opportunity to feel more freedom and manage their time in a way that helps them feel successful at school,” English department head Lauren Stewart said.