As a community Seton Hall Prep has obviously been affected by this pandemic and we have seen the many changes with scheduling and classes to adapt to this change. One of the hardest hit groups at The Prep have been our new freshmen. Coming from a variety of different middle schools adapting to the new curriculum and changes that come with high school has been hard. The reality of the situation is that they have yet to experience a full day of high school. For many it still hasn’t set in that they are now in high school since last year ended so abruptly. Though the other classes are also having their own difficulties, they have all had time to adjust to high school life and understand what it takes to thrive at Seton Hall. This year the freshmen have had to deal with Covid in a new environment, and this has led many of them to struggle with classes, getting involved and even the daily schedule.
Through the hard work of all the faculty at The Prep we were lucky to be able to return to the school even if it was only for half days. Though the situation is not ideal I think everyone knows from first-hand experience that virtual school is not really a viable solution and you lose the entire high school experience when you are virtual. The interactions with teachers and even other students isn’t available online and students are obviously less focused and easily distracted while online. To further complicate the situation, based on discussions I have had, a majority of students struggle with learning new topics online and retaining information and it becomes even more difficult for teachers to get their points across. Thankfully, we have avoided many of these problems by having the opportunity to be at school.
Getting acclimated to a new school is always tough and it comes with having new teachers, making new friends, and having new classes. In addition to these difficulties even learning how to get from class to class is tough especially now with our new one way hallway system. Trying to figure out where each class is while simultaneously trying to figure out which staircases you could go up and which direction each hallway goes in was tough even for the upper classes.
Since the beginning of the year I’ve spoken with my freshmen in Peer Group and I found that one of the main problems they have faced so far is their classes. Teachers are trying their best to stick to their curriculum but with the current half day schedule it is difficult to try and get all the work in. In this confusion I found students sometimes didn’t even know about quizzes or assignments that were due and they began to fall behind. With the new schedule we’ve been using finding time to get help and see teachers with questions that you may has gotten incredibly difficult even for a senior such as myself. In a typical schedule students would have an opportunity to attend help classes during the school day and have an actual allotted block to seek the help they need. Now it requires more work since the help class falls after school ends and sometimes teachers are busy after school and the variety of different transportation each student has can create conflicts. I personally have found that the best resolution is to message teachers directly and schedule a time to discuss with them but I know as a freshman I barely messaged my teachers about help. Not only may a student lack the confidence to message his teacher for help, but many do not know that each and every teacher at The Prep will make the time to help him if he reaches out. However, as a community The Prep will continue to push forward and help the entire community and especially the freshmen be comfortable and successful at The Prep.