Sixth through 12th grade students in the Highland School District have shifted to a hybrid learning schedule through Thanksgiving. Superintendent Ken Crawford says the decision comes in the wake COVID-19 cases rising again in Washington and Johnson counties. The upper-level students are returning to the hybrid model they implemented the first six weeks of the school year with students being split into two groups and attending classes in-person on alternating days. While moving all secondary school students to online learning was an option, Crawford says the emotional and educational health of the students are their biggest concerns, “Emotionally kids need to be here, we do breakfast, we do lunch, we have support services, we have teachers here who will help them so that any learning they’re doing it’s just a little bit better to have an adult (presence) , we’ve just found out it’s better to have an adult there to ask questions. Online can be done, it’s just not always great. So, we’re trying to figure out the best way for our kids and that’s when we came up with hybrid.” Crawford says the plan now is to continue hybrid learning for the sixth through 12th graders through the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and then re-evaluate their plan going forward on November 30th. But, with the ever changing numbers of coronavirus cases, Crawford also says that the timeline is subject to change. As of Friday, Washington County’s 14-day positivity rate for COVID-19 was 17.4% and Johnson County was 17.1%.