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Zooming into the New School Year

By: Alexandra Smith and Kayla Herssein (10th Grade)

Freshman Sophia Lurie never expected to begin her high school career virtually, but that was the case for the 2020 school year. Students traded in pencils and binders for laptops and a strong wifi connection to begin a school year like no other. 

“School was very different than I had imagined,” said Lurie. “Growing up, I never thought I would start high school online. I miss the social aspect of school.”

The only back to school bash students experienced this year was a textbook pick-up this past Sunday. Teachers waited at tables filled with textbooks, and students received their schedules and books.

“It felt weird getting my books this way, especially because it was the first time I had even seen most of the teachers in the last six months,” said Owen Ebner (10th Grade). 

Yet when the first day of virtual learning finally arrived, crisis struck. A global Zoom crash occurred just minutes before the virtual opening announcements were scheduled. Thankfully, the crash did not cause too much havoc, as the announcements and orientation were switched to Google Hangouts with only a slight delay. 

“At first I was really confused about what was going on, but they found a solution pretty quickly,” said Yakira Wolfson (11th). “Even if it didn’t go as planned, I was just happy that we got to continue on with our day.” 

An online orientation is unprecedented, and even though it served the same purpose, it lacked the celebratory essence of being with friends while hearing all the rules of conduct. 

“I thought online orientation went pretty well, but I really miss being in school in person with all of my friends,” said Spencer Lehmann (10th).

The beginning of the school year was especially interesting for new principal Dr. Eliezer Jones. His premier at the school contrasted to what it was supposed to be, he said, but he managed to create an environment that made students feel comfortable and excited about the new year. 

The virtual beginning was especially rough for the senior class, having to begin their last year without the usual senior experience. 

“I was sad when I realized that my senior year was going to look very different at first,” said Deborah Winer (12th). “But I told myself to try to make the best out of it and focus on the positive, and I hope to have it go back to normal at one point.” 

Even with all the setbacks, the high schoolers have faith that come October there will be a return to real life classes.

“The Zoom is not ideal, but it works because we can still physically see our teachers and hear them during classes,” said Esther Nahon (12th). “I know that this will help me get accustomed to when we go back to school, and that’s why I’m willing to do it.”

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