It’s time to make our community work for us

The Beacon Staff

Jackson-Reed is falling apart. Teachers are burned out and students aren’t learning, leaving many feeling as though showing up to school just isn’t worth it. Even though we are quickly approaching June 24, most of us are barely clinging to sanity.

While no one group can be blamed for the disconnect that is occurring within our school, the policies that DCPS has implemented haven’t helped. The 4×4 schedule caused students’ days to become repetitive and forced teachers to plan new lessons daily. New rounds of PARCC testing (and the annual madness of AP season) disrupted classes and contributed to a general sense of disarray. More and more, students and teachers are focused on making it through the week, rather than genuinely engaging with the educational process. 

The deterioration of Jackson-Reed’s academics has happened alongside a general erosion of our school’s culture. This could be attributed to the dehumanizing and fully exhausting experience of a year and a half of virtual learning. It can be hard to see while we continue to experience the impacts of the pandemic, but the social behaviors of students and teachers alike have been heavily affected by quarantine. We all lost formational years to the pandemic and we are stepping into older roles with the maturity of who we were prior to COVID. 

This year has taken a toll on all of us. The summer should be a time to decompress and reflect on how we interact with our community and the changes we are able to make coming into next year. We need to come in next year thinking about our individual role at Jackson-Reed so that we can work towards a safe, united community – because that is something that everyone, students and teachers alike, deserve to have. •