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Half-groups or whole classes, the variable geometry high school

Do not welcome more than 50% of high school students at the same time? The current health protocol does not oppose this. But it took a change in the speech of Jean-Michel Blanquer for the principals to ask themselves the question massively. The minister, who so far did not hide his reluctance, hinted, Friday, November 6 on RTL, that the rectorates would study with kindness the development proposals sent by the establishments. It must be said that in the meantime, high school students have led blockades, while the teachers’ unions filed a strike notice for November 10 in order to demand better protection against the virus.

→ THE FACTS. Strengthening of the health protocol in high school, the bac adapts

Difficult to know what percentage of high schools will switch, or at what rate, in a new operation. Face-to-face teaching in half-groups, alternately: in Paris, a dozen high schools could be concerned from Monday, November 9, says the academy. For her part, the rector of Montpellier Sophie Béjean who, on Friday, had already received the requests of twenty high schools, expects that“A majority of large establishments” seizes this possibility. Conversely, “Many secondary schools in small towns could keep their usual organization”.

Sophie Béjean will accede to requests provided that the high schools have spared “Effective pedagogical continuity”. Its services will ensure that each class has a homework coordinator and each student has operational access codes to the digital work environment. Or that the high school’s digital referent can provide training to teachers who are uncomfortable with distance education tools.

Reluctance related to image rights

The difficulty is indeed to combine courses in high school and work at home. Two options emerge, according to Vivien Joby, head of establishment at the institution La Providence, in Saint-Malo and president of Snceel, which brings together private management staff. “The first is to teach in front of half of the class and simultaneously broadcast the session via the Internet for the group at home. Two-thirds of our rooms are equipped for and we can equip the others with a camera with microphone, to be connected to the computer. “ Such a device costs barely a hundred euros. “But many teachers are cautious, for issues of image rights, particularly sensitive after the Conflans attack. “

Second possibility: give the same course to group A then to group B one week apart. And ask the students who stayed at home to study documents on their own, to perform exercises … “Because we cannot ask teachers to teach during the day in class and in the evening at a distance. ” Some colleagues “Could practice the flipped class: we see the course at home and we put it into practice in class”, prolongs Alexis Torchet, national secretary of Sgen-CFDT.

Priority to pragmatism

Priority to pragmatism, therefore. “In the cities where you go to school by public transport, by bike or on foot, you can imagine a morning / afternoon alternation, he continues. This cannot be done in rural areas, where we depend on school bus service. “

→ READ. The challenge of hybrid school, between the classroom and the home

Many “pro” high schools could also favor 100% face-to-face because they need specific facilities and their students are academically more fragile. Likewise, in general high schools, the arrangement will not always be synonymous with reception in half-groups. “From Monday, we bring in all our second, younger and therefore less autonomous, and, alternately every other week, in whole classes, our first and our terminal. Enough to limit the mixing “, argues Agnès Andersen, principal in Strasbourg and deputy general secretary of the Independence and Direction union.

In any case, school leaders are alarmed to see the rules change from one week to another, in search of a fair balance between health risk and educational risk. With one requirement: to prevent students from dropping out or that some find themselves disadvantaged at the time of the bac, compared to others who have followed all their face-to-face lessons.


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