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Spirit Week Survives Despite Setbacks

By: Ariella Jaimovich (9th) and Sarah Posner (9th)

Hebrew Academy students refused to let Covid spoil their annual Chanukah spirit week this year, as they celebrated throughout the school over the course of this past week.

This year’s festivities featured socially distanced laser tag, a backgammon tournament, dress up day, and, of course, lots and lots of donuts.

Each year, student council organizes spirit week to make the school a more celebratory environment in honor of the holiday. This year, the school faced multiple challenges, as they had to figure out how to create fun and social activities while adhering to Covid safety regulations.

This week’s dress up day themes included “Meme Monday,” “For-A-Cause Tuesday,” “Winter Wednesday,” “Dapper Thursday,” and “Faculty Friday.” Conflict arose when students showed up in casual clothing, instead of dressing based on the themes. Tuesday afternoon, the school announced via loudspeaker that the dress up day part of spirit week was cancelled. According to High School Principal Dr. Jones, not only did most students not come dressed in the themes, but many were out of regular school dress code.

Many students expressed disappointment in the cancellation, saying it wasn’t fair to those who did dress appropriately.

“A couple of kids came out of the dress code,” said Moshe Dov Brecher Lachs (10th grade). “That’s not an excuse to cancel all the work that was put into it.”

But after talking to student council and some students, the school reversed course. Recognizing the hard work and dedication of the student council as well as the opinions of the student body, Dr. Jones sent out an email on Wednesday saying that dress up day for spirit week was in fact back on, with the addition that students can also come in casual clothing on Friday.

“After conversations with the Student Council President, some students, and the administration we would like to make sure those that want to enjoy the dress-up days can, plus add a new opportunity given the feedback by the students,” the email said. “Friday will once again be ‘Dress Like A Teacher’ and we have added a Casual Friday option where students can come dressed down as requested by many students.”

Students did not get a chance to experience the last two dress up days, however, as the school returned to a virtual learning forum after a student tested positive for Covid-19.

Despite the fact that spirit week was unlike any other, many students expressed gratitude for the efforts of the student council and administration in attempting to make it work, regardless of any setbacks or unexpected conflicts.

“It is very important that the school feels united," said Director of Student Activities Morah Twito. “This is why we chose themes. Because of Covid we are so broken apart.”

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