• The Cougar Chronicle

Strange Beginnings: a Sixth Grade Perspective

Maurice Kanter

Staff Writer


Moving to middle school means taking a step up in your life. It is an opportunity to make new friends, and when that middle school is Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, it means becoming a part of a community. However, these are strange times. The Barrack community is changing, but our community has learned to adapt and prosper through these times. Barrack has done an outstanding job reorganizing the way we go to school. On the other hand, because of new and necessary precautions, the magic and freedom of joining Barrack has been largely reduced. So were sixth graders robbed of their first year at Barrack? Find out from these journal entries of a new sixth grade student at Barrack during this year of COVID-19.

September 8th 8:22- Children piled out of cars, buses, and vans. With six feet distance between them, they made their way towards the big white tents. Every sixth grader was going into Barrack with a different mindset -- some were excited, some were nervous -- but among the masses there was disappointment. Disappointment that we could not go in the building, disappointment that not all our friends could be here, disappointment that the campus we toured a year ago would be restricted. A large number of students embraced the new way of learning and were happy to see their friends, but others had trouble trying to make new friends from a distance.

September 15th 8:24- After a challenging week of online classes and some time learning how to use canvas, the sixth grade was finally back on campus. Once again the sixth graders piled out from their vehicles with cards around their necks, ready for a new day of learning. Many attended classes on campus, though some were online and that number was only to grow in the following weeks.

September 22nd 8:22- Sixth graders had become accustomed to the idea of going in to school one day a week. The desire to see the entire campus and truly experience middle school was all but gone. A lot of students also became more comfortable with the idea of social distancing, and wearing masks just became a usual thing. With the addition of after-school sports, the sixth grade finally got a better chance to bond, become better integrated into the Barrack community, and have fun.

September 29th 8:26- The routine had been set in place for every student attending class in person. Going on campus, something students took for granted in the past, became a treat. Being able to talk to their friends, to better understand their teachers, to become the best student they could be, that is the true magic of going on campus at Barrack! So did sixth graders lose their start at Barrack? Well, kind of. The magic and freedom of moving to middle school are limited, but our teachers and our friends are all still there. A great effort was made to ensure that there would still be a sense of community, and it is always magical to be a member of the Barrack community.



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