At the end of April, Fenway High School held a Virtual Town Hall on Zoom — a moderated conversation on “Schooling with COVID-19” with a student support counselor, a teacher, and one of the students. Here are a few of their comments:

Above all, we’ve had to be understanding and flexible. We have quite a few students who are working and taking care of younger siblings, so they can’t be available at certain times of the day or may need academic support outside of normal school hours. We have some students that work at grocery stores and rehabilitation centers, and they are hotspots. We as teachers have to check in on the social-emotional piece for our students before approaching the academic side. At first it was all very challenging, but now students recognize they need to advocate their needs and communicate with us, and that has improved the online learning experience.

Tech skills are going to be huge going forward. For a lot of students, their tech skills have revolved around a cellphone. At first, I hated that, but now I see it as beneficial because they know how to use some resources without me teaching them. The pandemic is also challenging students to think about time management and that can be very beneficial in the long run. 

~ Jen Salazar, Humanities teacher, grades 9-11, & Senior House Advisor

The student panelist described mixed emotions about online learning: “I have so much free time and can make my own schedule, which I like, but I miss the in person interaction.” He was taking a computer science class at Wentworth, but then had to take the final online: “I got a 97! It was a big deal for me because I’m just a high school junior, but it was a college class and I did really well.”

~ Ramon A, Grade 11, Crossroads House