Hebrew Academy Goes Remote
By: Samantha Ebner (12th Grade)
Coming off of the high of last week’s color war, students and faculty went remote this week due to the fast spreading Coronavirus. All classes were continued through the online platform Zoom, which allows video chatting for large groups of people.
Although different from attending a regular class, many students have adapted and think the new Zoom classes are really effective.
“Even though I do miss interacting with everyone every single day, I definitely think that this is a great alternative,” said Mary Berkowitz (11th Grade). “It’s the best alternative that we could have in this kind of circumstance.”
Before going online, the school planned a block schedule for the students in which morning and afternoon classes take place every other day. Each class is forty minutes long with twenty minute breaks between each class and an hour lunch break. Each day begins at 9:40 A.M. and ends at 2:10 P.M., with the exception of the AP Euro, AP Psych, and business classes, which begin at 8:15 A.M every other day. Following the school day, the teachers are available for any further questions until 3:00 P.M.
“Since we can’t be in school right now, the alternative way of learning has been really effective,” said Jaclyn Nussenblatt (12th). “It’s a new and fresh approach to learning, which is exciting since we’ve been doing the same thing for our whole lives. I really appreciate how the school modified our day in response to the situation.”
Although many feel that being quarantined is hard, the school has figured out a way to break up the students’ days in a way that allows them to continue to learn in addition to a little bit more lax workload.
“I think it’s good that the school made the block schedule, some classes one day and some on the other, because it spreads our days out,” said Ben Rubinov (11th). “Having four classes a day, and breaks in between, calms us down from the stress we’re already dealing with.”
The school continues to interact with students and parents with constant posts on the Hebrew Academy Instagram; the school has been posting videos of faculty members speaking about our new way of learning as well as reposting pictures parents have shared of their children in class.
Even with the new online way of learning, many students still feel that nothing can replace the in school atmosphere and hope to be back in school together soon.
“I miss walking around in the halls and seeing and talking to people,” said Shirel Baranes (11th). “It’s weird not going to school everyday, but rather just turning on my computer to attend class. Sometimes it gets a little lonely, but I love seeing the Hebrew Academy Instagram posts of students doing the same thing as me; it reminds me that we’re all in this and doing this together.”
The faculty and administration have worked tremendously hard to continue the classes as effectively as possible. The needs of the students and focus on the learning have remained the top priority. The classes continue to be conducive to every student despite the online barrier.
“I believe that students are able to work, focus, and concentrate and are keeping busy while at home under these conditions. I have really only received positive feedback thus far,” said Principal of General Studies Dr. Dara Lieber. “I held a town hall meeting for parents on the first night to answer any questions or concerns they may have, and I’m going to hold another one next week; I remain available to anyone who needs help or wants to talk about any issues they may have with the education. I will also say, in this forum, that teachers have been absolutely incredible, and they have worked extremely hard to make sure that classes are running smoothly.”