Virtual Open House overlooked performing arts

Other programs not included

Graphic+by+Guin+MacLowry+%2722

Graphic by Guin MacLowry ’22

While a regular school year would not be complete without the annual Jones Open House, filled with hundreds of prospective students and families learning about the many classes, clubs, and sports offered, this year’s Open House certainly looks different.  

The Virtual Open House was a nine-minute video giving viewers a glimpse into the experience of student life at Jones.

“We tried to make it unique to us and really reflect Jones,” said Assistant Principal Eric Fay. “We didn’t want it to be too long, but we wanted to make sure it had as much information as possible.”

Jones only featured the nine-minute video as their open house this year.  There are also a few links on the Jones website under “Academics,” “Athletics” and “Student Life” that help give a better picture of life at Jones. 

In the video, the Jones performing arts program makes an appearance once or twice and only for a few seconds. Performing Arts is not significantly left off of the Jones website as a whole. 

Vocal Music Teacher Kathryn Colby said she was not consulted about how performing arts would be represented in the Open House video. 

“For some reason, [the video] didn’t result in anything tangible for incoming students to view our performing arts, which really bums me out,” said Colby.

In a regular year, Colby said her favorite part of Open House is getting to know potential students.

“I’ve had a lot of experiences where my students say they signed up for choir because they met me at Open House, and that interaction made them want to join the choir,” said Colby.

Olivia Sanchez ’21 attended the Open House as a freshman. She said her experience with a student-led tour guide was part of what sealed the deal for her decision to come to Jones. 

Sanchez has been in choir since her freshman year. She also performed with the choir at Open House in the past. 

“I think that can be kind of hard to replicate in a video,” Sanchez said. “You can do something similar, but it’s not quite the same.”

Colby said the lack of representation of performing arts could potentially influence the incoming freshman class.

 “I think that next year’s freshman class will not have as many strong musicians and artists as we’ve had in the past because we were not able to show them that we’re a place for them,” said Colby. 

The Open House is usually a place for all of the programs at Jones to shine, but this year, performing arts were not featured prominently. Without the ability for future students to experience for themselves the variety of programs Jones offers in performing arts, some may choose to go elsewhere.

“If other selective enrollment schools were able to show that they have those programs and that they’re strong programs that are worth being a part of, incoming freshmen will probably opt to go to those schools over Jones, unfortunately,” she said.