Zoom or school is the question buzzing through the halls at Scheck Hillel Community School as students are at the edge of their seats, waiting anxiously to see if they will, due to Covid-19 exposure, be sent home. During the first two months of the 2020-21 school year, all the students were in the comfort of their homes, with high school schedules beginning at 9 AM and finishing at 2 PM. Students much appreciated this change, but it didn’t change the minds of the students who itched to go back on campus. Students have voiced their opinions and have sided with either staying on Zoom or coming back to campus.
Starting with 10th graders, it seems that many prefer to stay at home, and Carolina Benun began the conversation with, “Many of my friends have been sent home because they have sat next to someone that was in contact with the virus…I think the school should just keep everything online until students are able to be on campus without the fear of being sent home.” However, a handful of 10th graders also love the feeling of being on campus. Talya Shechter has spoken out and said, “We are able to interact with everyone, even though there are many precautions.” Split between both parties, Hannah Azulay voices, “I agree with Talya and believe that we can interact with others while on campus, as I hate the idea of being stuck at home for so many hours. However, I believe the school should revert to the 9 AM-2 PM because everyone has been accustomed to that schedule for some time. If this were to happen, I would – personally – want to stay on Zoom.” With all of this being said, the 10th grade seems to be “pro-Zoom” and also believes Hillel should return to a 9 AM-2 PM schedule.
11th graders are counterparts to those of 10th as some prefer to be on campus while others want to stay within the walls of their houses. Chana Backer wants to give being on campus a go. “Being in school and sitting in classrooms with teachers allows me to pay much more attention since at home, there were many distractions flying by, and I constantly had issues with my computer and internet.” Avi Lalo agrees and also notes, “Seeing your friends is something that every student wants in their life. Also, focusing online from 8-4 is almost impossible, while on campus, one has no option and has to pay attention.” Tali Fiske is on a different side and said, “Online is a much better option because of the virus. I feel that it is more comfortable because you never know where those around you have been.” Luckily, all Scheck Hillel students have the option of remaining at home.
12th graders are primarily on the same page, and they overarchingly agree that being on campus is the absolute best. Danna Fischbach says, “We can see our friends every day, and we are interactive with everyone around. We aren’t stuck at home where there are constant issues with either our wifi or us not understanding the material.” The seniors continue to add that they can right away have their questions answered and don’t have to worry about teachers’ technological complications. There have been multiple encounters when the teacher struggles to start the Zoom and students lose class time, which creates less time for the work that needs to be done.
Some high schoolers have gotten together to create a petition to change the school schedule back to 9-2, along with other things. An anonymous student who started the petition writes, “So many kids have gotten sent home, and others cannot attend classes. It is unfair and difficult for students to sit in front of a computer for 8 hours every day.” Out of 500 needed signatures, 271 have already been signed. Many agree with this petition and believe that an 8 AM-4 PM schedule is way too early. This entire ordeal has created stress, and some students are simply “crashed” by the end of the day. Nonetheless, many are grateful for being able to be on campus, even during these trying times.