‘Rona Remote, Round II: Prep goes virtual as state cases rise
From Issue 4
November 24, 2020
The week of November 2, the Prep community experienced an uptick in COVID-19 cases. On Friday, November 6, Head of School Lawrence Coco announced grades 9-12 would move to remote learning from Monday, November 9 to Wednesday, November 11.
Some students were sent home the week of November 2 after being identified via contact tracing. Contact tracing is a process where the school contacts a student who tested positive for COVID-19 to find out who has been in close contact with that student. They then send those students home to wait for five days since exposure to the virus, and then they are tested for the virus.
Grades 6-8 remained on campus, which fell under the “JP Hybrid” plan since some students were on campus and some were remote. The daily schedule was the same despite the switch to the hybrid plan. Prep emphasized that the campus was not closed and that extracurricular activities and sports would continue to take place on campus.
On November 9, the administration sent out another email stating that grades 9-12 would continue online learning for the rest of the week, and grades 6-8 would remain on campus. Due to a significant rise in positive cases throughout the week, Thursday afternoon a Head of School update informed the Prep community that the entire school would transition to online learning November 16-20, grades 6-8 includ- ed. Mr. Coco stated, “We had to sacrifice the week off for the reward of coming back…I am reasonably confident that we will be back on campus after Thanksgiving break, but this is dependent upon the Jackson Prep community making wise choices over the break and afterwards.”
Senior Aubrey Scott Moak, who experienced the virus recently, said, “I was so surprised to actually get a positive test, but Prep made it so easy for me to join remotely and not get behind. I didn’t have terrible symptoms, so COVID wasn’t an awful experience for me personally, but one I will remember for sure.”
Senior Hunter Yelverton voiced a similar sentiment, saying, “I never thought I would have the infamous coronavirus, but here we are today. I’ve been quarantined at my house for several days now. My symptoms lasted for about four days, but I’m feeling healthy now. Being at home is hard, but with apps like Zoom and FaceTime, I’m making it. This virus is dangerous, but nothing we can’t handle together.”
One of the teachers who recently tested positive was English instructor and yearbook advisor Ms. Anna Griffin. When asked about her experience with corona, she said, “I didn’t expect to feel this bad for so long. Every day, I keep thinking, ‘today is the day that I’ll get back to feeling well,’ but so far every day brings a headache and crushing fatigue. I’m really surprised. And as much as I love food, I can’t taste anything. Do you think that I get the calories from my granddaughter’s Goldfish if I can’t taste them?”
As of this point, Prep plans to have students back on campus after Thanksgiving break on Monday, November 30. Since the switch to remote learning, the COVID cases in the Prep community have decreased.