Features

Returning to School During COVID-19

By: Erin McCann

Zoom classes, asynchronous work, and different cohorts are all a part of the new norm. While waking up an hour later is nice, the stress that comes from remote school can also take its own toll. Remote school is a learning process for all, and I think the Caldwell-West Caldwell school district has been handling it to the best of their ability. Teachers are only a Zoom or email away and the community has been coming together to help everyone out. 

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On all remote days, we have four classes a day with 15 minutes in between each class and a one hour lunch break. Each class consists of a Zoom call with the whole class and usually additional assignments. On the days we go into school, the students are split into three cohorts and have four classes each day. It seemed confusing at first, but teachers and administrators have been very good at explaining it. Also, many adults within the community have offered tutoring services on social media to help kids adjust to remote school. Going to school on in-person days has been a nice change of pace and it was nice to see all my classmates and teachers. As for extracurricular activities, everyone is trying their best to make it seem as normal as possible. Fall sports have all had successful seasons except volleyball, since it is being postponed to February since it takes place inside, which was a big step. Sports took all precautions to keep everyone safe and clubs have been doing virtual meetings. School looks very different from last year with desks spread apart, taped hallways pointing which ways we can walk, masks, and students carrying backpacks instead of using lockers, but it is all worth it in the end to ensure safety. 

Other High Schools in surrounding towns are on similar schedules as JCHS. According to veronaschools.org, Verona High School is split into 3 cohorts and follows an A,B,C continuous schedule. Their schedule is similar to ours, but as of right now each cohort meets in person about five times a month. They were all remote up until Monday, November 9th, so this was a big step for them. 

It is unknown what the rest of the school year is going to look like, as it is an ever-changing situation, but a return to normalcy is the goal, especially for the senior class. Hopefully, spring events like Prom and Graduation can be held without all the precautionary measures. This is not the school year anyone anticipated, but the James Caldwell High School community is working together to make the best of it.

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