High school students return to in-person learning


photo courtesy of Yearbook

High school students learn for the first time in-person since March.

Harry Davidson, Reporter

For the first time since last March, high school students have returned to the CESJDS campus for in-person learning. Now, all Upper School students have had the option to be in person at least once since hybrid learning began. 

Under the current high school schedule, students go in-person on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with the juniors and seniors going on alternating weeks from the freshmen and sophomores. Throughout the two days, all classes meet once, with five of them meeting on Tuesday and the other four classes meeting on Wednesday. During the day there is also a block to eat lunch outdoors and five minute passing periods in between classes, with mandatory COVID-19 tests on Tuesdays.

Many students were excited about returning so they could have an interactive experience and get to see their friends and teachers.

“I really missed the peer to peer experience and I think that’s really unmatched and unachievable at home,” sophomore Remy Eidelman said. “It was really nice to be able to see your friends and be able to interact in class with all your peers and be able to work together collaboratively on some assignments.”

With some students learning from home while others are in the building, it can be challenging for teachers to manage the Zoom call, an iPad, a speaker and to try to teach a class at the same time. However, in-person school has brought many positive experiences for teachers, such as allowing them to meet some of their students for the first time, and it has felt safe for them. 

“On the whole, I think [in-person learning] went pretty well. I was here last week and it was smooth last week and I think today it also ran pretty smoothly,” history teacher Matt Cohen said. “We are all in a weary state of being cautious about how we are managing things, but I think overall the school has done a good job of keeping us safe and having a plan in place.”

If there is an outbreak of positive cases in the JDS community, there is a plan in place to make sure there is minimal spread. This includes tracing people back to what classes they were in, who they interacted with and where they were in the building. However, according to Nurse Heather Greenblum, everyone at JDS has done a good job of making sure this will not happen

“Montgomery County’s rates are way higher than our JDS rates. … And it really shows that our community is doing a very good job following health protocols, social distancing and face mask-wearing,” Greenblum said. “So I think we should all be applauded for keeping each other healthy because we’re doing a good job.”

Just this Tuesday, the school was able to do 161 COVID-19 tests for high school students and faculty, and this large quantity of tests has reassured students that they are safe and that the school is on top of the situation.

“It gives me a level of comfort knowing that most of the people I’ve been around have been tested in the last week at least, and more people are getting tested and I’ll be notified if someone is positive so I can take the necessary precautions,” Eidelman said.