Finally back: In-person classes begin


Amanda Cassel

Seniors spread out on Jackman Field during lunch on the first day of school. Students were allowed to choose between Jackman Field, Café Lab and approved rooms for clubs. Most seniors spent the hour on Jackman Field eating, chatting or playing catch with a football. ArtsFest Committee was also distributing materials and T-shirts for March 17.

Ella Beiser and Amanda Cassel

After nearly a year of distance learning, seniors and faculty returned to campus for their first day of hybrid learning March 8.

Dean of Students Ana Campos said it was wonderful to see students but said the school felt very empty. 

“We knew that the seniors were the smallest number of students returning, and I think that I knew that, but it was really noticeable today in terms of the number of people that were around,” Ms. Campos said.

For the rest of the spring, students who opted into hybrid learning will come to school in person for two consecutive days every two weeks — an “A” day and a “B” day — following the same block schedule in place all year. “C” days will continue to have online office hours, assemblies and counselor programming.

Izzy Kaufman-Sites zooms into her “Stars and Dust” English class from he middle school library. The class is primarily seniors who opted in to hybrid learning. Rather than joining breakout rooms for small group work, in-person students discussed short stories together.

English teacher Steven Gevinson was impressed with the administration’s organization and described the first day as a success.

“The technology is pretty fabulous really, and even someone who’s not very good at it, I still did it,” Mr. Gevinson said. “I don’t think we lost much time, so as complicated as it is, and as many disadvantages as there are, and all the safety issues it just seems to me like it was well thought out and well put together.”

Mr. Gevinson also appreciated seeing his students face-to-face for the first time all year.

“It felt natural to be back together, to be able to even just to look people in the eye. I mean, it’s not nearly the same as an actual face,” Mr. Gevinson said.

Despite a few small issues Mr. Gevinson felt prepared for the day.

“I didn’t feel nervous about this. I just wanted to make sure I knew how to do stuff. And I got here a little early. I managed to sign in and I got the Zoom up. So, I felt kinda proud of myself. Plus I knew you guys, students here are so generous, really understanding, helpful, that I knew I couldn’t fall too far before I was in the safety net.”

Junior Ariana Vazquez chose hybrid learning and said watching the seniors return in person built her anticipation for her own return after spring break.

I’m pretty excited because at least I’ll get 12 days of a normal junior year,” Ariana said.

Senior Isha Nayak returned to school to achieve some normalcy for the end of the school year. 

“I thought it was really cool to be in class because when a teacher made a joke you could laugh and they would hear it,” Isha said. “Both of my parents are vaccinated, so I thought it was pretty safe at home for me to come back.”

Isha was not disappointed and found that in-person school was similar to how she remembered.

“I am a fan of in person,” Isha said. “I just think it’s different when you can actually see people and make eye contact, just things you normally do. And walking around the school and getting some exercise in and seeing teachers in the hallways that you don’t normally see.

Ms. Campos also enjoyed seeing students in the hallways interacting.

“It’s just really — I can’t even describe it,” Ms. Campos said. “We’re coming up on the year anniversary when we all had our last day, so the idea that we are finally back is just really special, especially seniors.”