If someone had told me at the beginning of the pandemic that Seton Hall Prep would be having in-person classes, with sport teams playing games and clubs getting to do their own activities, I would have sadly replied that we’re a long way away from coming close to that. In quite possibly what has been one of the most challenging years in recent memory, SHP has responded exceptionally well to the many difficulties resulting from this pandemic. Nevertheless, as a school we have continued to face some daunting challenges. To combat those challenges, Seton Hall has made several efforts to make school feel as normal as possible. One of those efforts has been the hybrid schedule, a system which has had impacts on both the students and teachers. Seton Hall’s endeavors to keep a sense of normalcy, and an arduous hybrid schedule reflects how the Seton Hall Prep community responds when facing adversity, no matter what the circumstance.  

Prior to school starting in September, there was an assortment of questions surrounding how often we would be in school, whether athletics could take place, and whether it is possible for students to really get a good experience if the schedule is altered. I spoke with two of my fellow classmates about Seton Hall Prep’s decision making, Dan Carlucci ’23, and Max Merklinger ’21. Carlucci explained he expected Seton Hall to stay open despite any shutdowns because “SHP isn’t the same as the other schools and wants to provide the best experience they can.” Most students, including Merklinger, would likely agree with Carlucci’s assessment, because it’s one of those schools that wants to make sure the students are getting a worthy time here at The Prep. The main reason I wanted to talk with Merklinger is I knew how hard it must have been for the seniors from the previous year and so I wanted to know the thoughts from one of this year’s seniorsMerklinger, like many other seniors, knew that school could be completely virtual but he discussed how the in-person schedule has allowed him to be around his friends and know what it is like to be in his last year at The Prep.   

To ensure that we can stay in school and not get shut down, there are  required rigorous precautionsTo name a few, students have to take their  temperature every morning before school, wipe their desks down when they enter a classroomsocially distance and follow the one-way hallways. All these safety protocols remind me of what Dan Carlucci said, that Seton Hall is not like other schoolsand this a testament to that very statement. Not every school that has the capability to be in person chose to, but Seton Hall Prep is one of the few that recognized how monumentally important it was that the students feel like they are a part of something.  

Not only has it been important for the students, but the teachers as well. English teacher Mr. Pascal talked about how gratifying it is to see the students behaving responsibly and ready to learn. I also spoke with math teacher, Mrs. Cerami, about the hybrid schedule, and it was insightful to hear about the obstacles she faces. Mrs. Cerami said one of the hardest parts about teaching her students virtually is “not being able to walk around to check on the status of their work.” It was a reminder about how hard it must have been for the teachers to cover all the material without being able to really interact with their students.  

In conclusion, despite the unprecedented circumstances, Seton Hall Prep has acted admirably with its tenacity to stay in school and keep everyone as safe as possible. “Hazard Zet Forward” is definitely an applicable phrase given what has happened in the past year. I think I can speak for my fellow classmates when I say that our school has stayed true to its core values and gives us all confidence we will handle the even greater challenges better in the future.