Covid-19 made a drastic change in students’ day to day lives. Having to switch to online school made a significant impact and was hard to adapt to. With the fantastic help Scheck Hillel provided during these difficult times, students have been able to get used to and flourish in this environment, regardless of the circumstances.
One of the students’ major concerns is the lack of materials. Since students are learning from home, they don’t have access to the school’s variety of materials. As a result, Hillel gifted students a personalized box of materials fitting their academic needs. They provided Chromebooks with the necessary software pre-downloaded to grades K-5, as well as the other materials needed. They also provided all the school books and even bagels to middle and high school students who longed for the many missed bagel breaks!
Not only did the school provide the students with numerous supplies, but they also focused on finding the best teaching methods. They learned all about new software like Nearpod, Screencastify, and Edulastic to enhance the online learning experience. Additionally, learning from a screen can be challenging, which is why the school took on a new website, Calendly, which allows students to schedule one on one office hours with their teacher, easing the learning process. Similarly, all classes have also been recorded and made available on the class page for students to review if needed. The school has also made some changes to the schedule. Since the spring, they have added three hours to the schedule a week, so classes are now forty minutes, just like they were on campus. This change provides teachers with more time to teach and go over the material. Administration also knows that quarantine can be challenging and negatively impact mental health. This is why Scheck Hillel has been providing student counseling, where students can talk about the stress and emotions they have been feeling in a safe space. Students are grateful for the tremendous support the school has provided. Sophomore Talya Shechter expresses this when she says, “Changing to online school has made a big impact on me. At first it was a struggle, but with all the help the school has given me, I was able to adapt to the change and learn from it. The school has offered me many opportunities to improve my learning. Although I sit in front of a computer for many hours, I am beyond grateful and think with the situation given, the way Hillel handled it couldn’t have been done better.”
This change impacted parents as well. This is why Hillel has done numerous things to alleviate the stress caused to all. Due to the crisis, Scheck Hillel has offered financial support as well as a discount on tuition. They also provided a helpful resource page to help navigate and adapt to this new online school reality. On the website, there is a specific section for reopening plans called Scheck Hillel at Home. This part of the website includes everything you could imagine, ranging from videos from the staff to frequently asked questions. It also consists of the precautions being made for the back to school plans; this includes the primary safety rules like keeping a mask on, maintaining distance, and other responsibilities for all, since keeping the Hillel family safe is their priority. Understanding that some will be unable to return to campus, the school has installed 75″ flat panel displays, microphones, cameras to make online instruction the best quality possible. The website also includes a space for additional questions, where all concerns and questions can be answered by reaching out to the email address they provide below.
The main concern is keeping everyone safe and healthy. While the return to campus is well awaited, the school will only allow students to come back when it is safe, as they don’t want to risk anyone’s health. Mrs. Donaher, the head of school, states, “Our ultimate goal is to return and go back on campus, and this goal has not changed, it has only been strengthened, so we are going to act responsibly and wait to return to campus when our state and county are not setting new records for a virus.” The school has provided major help to all and will continue to thrive.