• This Is Rutherford

Learning During a Pandemic: Part Three

By Jennifer Ersalesi


Photo credit: Rutherford Public Schools

Since last March 2020, students in the Rutherford School District have learned what the words remote, hybrid, and cohort mean. With COVID-19 restrictions in place throughout the state, students are socially-distanced, must wear masks, and/or learning from their computers at home. Over the last few weeks, This is Rutherford published articles that highlighted how teachers have learned to teach through a pandemic. For the next few weeks, This is Rutherford will publish interviews with students in grades Kindergarten through High School to learn more about learning through a pandemic.


The following students were asked the same questions about their school experiences this past year: Jackson Genovesi (Kindergarten), Julia Bogosian (First grade), Caleb Pippin (Second grade), Michael Giacalone (Third grade), Madison Leigh (Fourth grade), Logan Staselis (Fifth grade), Tom Dimitroff (Sixth grade), Ava Hernandez (Seventh grade), Caiden Cole (Eighth grade), McKenzie Lancaster (Ninth grade), Cailyn Jordan (Tenth grade), Chris Nicolas (Eleventh grade), and Emma Lagasse (Twelfth grade).


TIR: What will you always remember about being a student during this pandemic?


Jackson Genovesi: I never even thought about that so I’m gonna have to think. Ok, I got one, not being able to see my friends or go to their houses.


Caleb Pippin: That our vice president was a woman.


Julia Bogosian: Having to sit at individual desks and wear masks all of the time.


Michael Giacalone: I will remember wearing a mask to school every day. I will always remember I had a good teacher that helped me and other kids in my class.


Madison Leigh: I will always remember staying home for school. I’ll also remember wearing a mask when I’m in school and going anywhere public.


Logan Staselis: I will remember the exercise breaks over zooms which are very funny. I will also remember that I would get sad about lockdown and not going to school but the upside was that school was only half days.


Tom Dimitroff: I will always remember how tough it was. I'll remember social distancing in the classroom and having to sit far apart. I'll remember my mask getting itchy by the end of the day. I'll remember going to school for a couple of weeks and then the school shutting down and having to be remote for a couple of weeks.


Ava Hernandez: I'm going to remember a lot about being a student during this pandemic. I mean this is an unprecedented time. I'm going to remember everything like having school work online. I'll always remember doing online school and how much I didn't like it and I'll always remember wearing masks. I'm going to remember how different it was being back in school and then out of school. I'm going to remember the weird schedules. There's so much to remember, it's such a crazy time. I don't think I'll really ever forget living through this. I think I’ll remember most of it, if not all of it, for pretty much the rest of my life. It's a big deal what's going on right now and I think I'll always have some kind of image in my mind of how it used to be.


Caiden Cole: One thing that I will never forget about online learning during the pandemic is when the country shut down on my 13th birthday on March 13th. After the school shut down, I thought that we would be back in three weeks but it escalated to almost a year now. I miss the social interactions with my friends and my middle school years have been almost non-existent at Union School because I've had to learn mainly online. I hope that my class can enjoy the fun end-of-the-year events in person together during our last months at Union School.


McKenzie Lancaster: I believe that students will always remember how hard it was to learn from home and to do so much on their own. I also think that they will remember the challenges that they faced throughout the pandemic.


Cailyn Jordan: I will always remember how I don’t like the Zoom Meetings, and being able to do work in the comfort of my own home.


Christopher Nicolas: I will always remember the 2020 year because I had to wear masks in school, and I had to be six feet apart from my friends and teachers during this pandemic. It was a year I will never forget.


Emma Lagasse: Something I’ll personally always remember is how disappointing it is to be a senior during the pandemic. We are missing out on many of the things we saw other seniors enjoy. We were excited to have our last homecoming, prom (after having our junior formal canceled), the fashion show, and enjoying our last sporting events showing where we could show our RHS pride in the dog pound. Hearing we will not be given any of these events makes many seniors feel left out of huge life experiences we have worked towards through all of our academic lives. As an AP and Honors student, I will never forget what it is like to work harder than ever before during the middle of my Junior year and Senior year knowing my hard work and dedication will not be rewarded with these school events everyone looks forward to.


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