“Room Zoom” Comes Back at East Harlem High School

This year, New York City students have no option to study remotely. But every day, Park East High School students log in to online classes.

Schools in East Harlem do not have much room for social distance, so students attend the main campus, where they study directly with their teachers, and the satellite campus, which is about five blocks away from livestream learning. For interviews with more than half a dozen students.

The school principal and PTA members did not respond to requests for comment. According to the Ministry of Education, school layout made social distance a particular issue, and school leaders worked with higher education institutions throughout the summer to find workarounds.

“Park East High School is a great example of a school community working together to find a creative solution that allows all students to return to safe face-to-face instruction this year,” said Nathaniel Steer, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education. Stated.

In Park East, a cramped building where classrooms have been converted into rehearsal studios, the addition of satellite campuses has added more rooms.However There are drawbacks.. Some students said they forgot to allow teachers to attend online classes, had difficulty hearing what was happening, and missed immediate feedback that they were in front of the teacher. rice field.

“Obviously, it’s more appealing when you’re in the building. It’s a little more boring online,” said a junior who asked not to name him, like the other students interviewed in this story. Told.

The setup shows how complicated it was to return to the classroom as the pandemic progressed. Last year, the need for social distance created hybrid schedules, floor decals 6 feet away at school entrances and hallways, and constant reminders to keep a safe distance. This year, nearly one million students in the city have all returned to the classroom. Many campuses are under pressure due to space..

Schools have responded in a variety of ways, according to Styer. For example, we extend the day to allow students to participate in multiple sessions, hire additional teachers and aides, and use space in other schools to teach. He doesn’t mention the number of schools offered additional sites like Park East.

According to the Park East website, students are divided into three groups. Those who need additional support or services go to the main campus daily. The other two groups will be taught directly on the main campus and will study remotely on the satellite campus the other day.

Last year, schools, especially large high schools I relied on “zoom the room”. Many of the students who chose to go back to school were disappointed that the school had a shortage of staff to teach online and directly at the same time, so they were sitting in the same room all day and taking lessons from the screen. It was also a way to limit exposure if someone tested positive for the coronavirus by grouping students into small groups rather than moving between classes.

Park East has less than 400 students, but the campus has limited space. In the old music school, the classroom was a rehearsal studio, but before COVID it wasn’t big enough to accommodate the allowed class size of 34 students. According to the review site Inside Schools.. Instead, the class tends to have about 20 students.

The satellite location is the location of the former Catholic school. Students said they were assigned to classrooms by grade. Some say that the setup works against social distances because the rooms are small and I attend classes with different groups of peers every day.

The teachers union has resisted livestreaming lessons. Say it’s a challenge.. The experience at Park East highlights why. One student said he missed the entire AP-teaching class because the teacher forgot to put the student in a virtual room.

“We were waiting there, they were already teaching lessons, and we have to go home and teach ourselves,” said the senior.

Other students may not be able to answer questions raised through chat for most of the time, and teachers often point to the board during lectures, making it impossible for online students to see what is being referenced. He said he was unaware. Some have said that it would be helpful to have a microphone to make it easier for teachers to hear. Styer said the education department will “quickly respond” to additional technology needs in schools, but nothing has been reported.

“It’s stressful because we don’t get the same amount of attention,” said another senior. “Many teachers forget that Zoom has students.”

It shows the balancing act of the school finding itself this year.

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Schools say they should follow social distance — Unless it becomes impossible to return to direct instruction to all students. Despite more tolerant rules, images of crowded corridors and more contagious delta variants of the coronavirus have raised concerns from some parents who are already angry with this year’s lack of distance education. rice field.

Experts Take a hierarchical approach to mitigating COVID..In New York City, schools need masks, 10% of unvaccinated students are tested weekly, and the education department Procedures for improving ventilation..

“Room Zoom” Comes Back at East Harlem High School

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