Opinion: More in-person days should be added for high school


Photo used with permission from Dimensions Yearbook

Students participate in a class discussion in-person. Many view in-person learning time as crucial for education.

Rena Katz, Reporter

It’s been months since the CESJDS high school started hybrid learning in December, and throughout this time, students have been going in for two days a week. While this schedule was a good start, high school needs more days of in-person school as it would greatly improve our learning experience.

Every week, high school students have the option to attend in-person school on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, we get a full day of learning, but Wednesdays are cut short and we do not have a full day of school.

The reasoning for having a shorter day on Wednesday is to make sure that each class only has one period in-person. However, there are few downsides of having more classes on Wednesday, as it only means more in-person learning for students. 

There are several issues with our current schedule. The first is that it allows less time for students to relax and socialize. Even though there is an in-school lunch period on Wednesday, most students do not attend since there are no classes afterward. Effectively having only one lunch period lowers the amount of social interactions students can have. 

Students’ learning would also benefit if we were allowed to have more in-person days. Many people have struggled with virtual learning over quarantine and getting them back into the classroom would definitely help them immensely. 

Additionally, the safety risk of returning to school is relatively low. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, calculated the risk that school holds for students and declared it mostly safe for students to start going back to schools that implement safety measures. The CDC is the main source of our safety guidelines, and if they inform us that school is safe, we should be able to go into school more.

Many other schools have fully gone back to in-person learning. For example, most public schools in New York City have fully reopened starting in late March. They are using similar precautions, such as social distancing, masks and testing. Similarly, JDS does weekly COVID-19 testing and follows all of the precautions, so more in-person days should be added.

Just like New York, I think that JDS would be able to add a little more in-person time to the schedule, while still maintaining health and safety precautions. As a result, students would get better learning focus, more social time, and a happier and optimistic mentality.