Pandemic precautions

How the Jones community is adjusting to in-person learning

After almost a month into a new school year, Jones students and staff are easing into their new lives of in-person classes and COVID-19restrictions. 

While the experience started off with some initial anxiety, as the weeks passed by, students had started to adjust better and ease into comfortability with their new lives. 

“Well first I was a little bit worried about how the safety structures would work,” said Sarah Perrine ‘23. “But then I got more comfortable with it.” 

When asked about his concerns around being back to school with Covid, Danny Leonard ‘23 noted that lack of complete compliance with rules around masks brought about some apprehension. 

“I think seeing how some people [will] pull down their masks and talk with their friend groups but then when [they’re around] other people they’ll pull up their masks,” said Leonard. “I understand that but at the same time, it is a little scary.”

But as the beginning of school brought about concerns, the rise of vaccinations and access to vaccines also helped to ease some of those school related concerns. 

“I think, being vaccinated [and knowing] a lot of my friends are vaccinated helped a lot,” said Sarah Perrine ‘23.

For others, their belief within the Jones community and the communities’ compliance with health guidelines helped to lower qualms about in-person learning as well. 

“[Within the] Jones community, I [think] I can say with confidence that a lot of people are vaccinated,” said Leonard. “Or at least [are] aware and trying their best to stay safe from Covid, it’s definitely helped me feel a lot safer.” 

School librarian, Mr. Feeley also noticed a shift within the Jones community, specifically a change in adherence to rules and guidelines amongst staff. 

“During those weeks at the end of the 2021 school year, teachers were a little more likely to take their masks off for lunch,” said Feeley. “Now, it’s more like bites and sips. Now that the facts are different, we’re actually more faithful to the masks than we were last year.”

But as more information comes out, teachers aren’t the only ones making changes in their behavior at school.

“I think the mask fidelity has been very high,” said Mr. Feeley. “I almost have never seen students unmasked, unless they’re eating.” 

Despite some initial concerns, students and staff at Jones are to be content with the process of transitioning back into in-person classes. 

“I think the school is handling [COVID-19] very appropriately,” said Perrine. “We have wipes to wipe down a lot of things and the rapid testing, [so] I think it’s pretty good.”

The efforts that the Jones community and CPS have taken in order to help students and staff alike, haven’t gone unnoticed. 

“I think that what [CPS] is doing now is honestly pretty good,” said Leonard. “I think it’s definitely very good that CPS has been able to make it so that we can kind of return to some sort of normalcy, while still staying safe and being aware of the risks of COVID-19.” 

And while the return to in-person learning may have been worrisome, it was definitely worth it to transition back from online learning. 

“I think I prefer in-person learning,” said Perrine. “Just because you can actually get a sense of how everything’s working. Online learning just really took a toll on me and I think a lot of people.”

Across the board, students are ready for in-person learning not just for the change in day-to-day interactions, but also because the online learning environment wasn’t as  great an experience for them. 

“Personally, I like the in person environment, less because of the positives [of in-person learning] but more because of the negatives [of online-learning],” said Leonard. “Online learning was definitely tough to cope with, especially when it came to asking teachers for help.”