Covid-19: How Did We Do Cougars?


Zain Chaudhry, Contributor

As the year comes winding down, we can finally make our long awaited judgements, how did the DOE and our school handle the reopening of in-person instruction? Many families were concerned, sending their children back to school with Covid cases still on the rise. Now after almost a full school year, we can assess just how efficient of a job the DOE, as well as the FDR community, has done in keeping our staff and students safe.

 The DOE did a great job in setting out the rules and regulations that staff and students must take to help stop the spread of Covid-19. At the start of the school year, all students were required to wear face masks in order to protect themselves, as well as others from getting/spreading the virus. Daily health screenings, which are still being used today, require students to enter whether they feel any symptoms. Students must responsibly assesses if it is safe for them to enter the school building. The DOE also kept up to date the necessary precautions that needed to be taken if someone were to test positive in school. A set amount of quarantine days required, along with a negative covid test result would be required to return to school. All of these steps set forth by the DOE helped slow the spread of Covid in our schools.

The DOE did a good job maintaining the proper regulations to keep staff and students safe, however, the uncertainty of students safety in schools and helping students ease back into the school life after being at home for so long was not directly addressed. Although FDR did help students through social emotional learning, the DOE itself should have provided more guidance and support for students who may have been going through a hard time, and having a hard time readjusting to the school environment.

FDR High School made the transition back into in person flow more smoothly, by constantly providing parents and students with information as to what was happening in our school community, and what we should be doing. FDR did a good job in reacting to positive covid cases, as they would alert all students who were determined to have been in close contact with the individual, as well as hand out take home covid tests to those individuals. This helped contain the spread, and inform the families of students to be cautious, as they may have contracted, or be carrying the virus. FDR ensured that all classroom desks were spread out, hand sanitizer was available in all rooms, and air purifiers were in all classrooms.

Although the FDR community provided a lot of instruction and information, one thing that we could have improved upon, according to our principal Ms. Katz, was coordination. The FDR community consists of many students, meaning that classrooms were full of students and hallways were crowded. This made it a bit difficult to keep things organized at times. However, as the school year has progressed, the school has improved in how we coordinate our movement throughout the building to help things run more smoothly. It took some time for students to get used to doing their health screenings everyday, which created long lines to enter school at the beginning of the year. However, as the year progressed students got the hang of it, and it has become part of their daily routine.

This has been the strangest school year that many of us have ever experienced, and it has surely taught us a lot about each other, as well as ourselves. Through trial and error, we have learned what has worked for us during the Covid pandemic, as well as what needs to be improved. Overall, this new experience of working our way around a pandemic to get students back in school has brought us all closer as a community- we all wanted for things to feel as normal as they could again. With the teamwork of staff and students, we have been able to get through a school year, even with the difficult conditions we had at the start.