The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

Please help us cover our annual operations cost!

Seniors slacking on their engagement in class and clubs

Eli Schwartz
TIGER PRIDE – Jackson-Reed students cheer on the boys’ varsity basketball team at the DCSAA semifinals. This is an uncommon display of senior involvement in school activities this year.

The four-year anniversary of the start of COVID-19 is now in the rearview mirror and some teachers believe the class of 2024 has not fully recovered. This is prevalent in both their engagement in academics and social activities this year. 

While the senior ski trip was set to take place on February 20, it was canceled due to lack of participation. According to 12th Grade Assistant Principal Gregory Bargeman, only around 27 seniors out of the 150 allocated spots actually signed up and paid their dues. 

The Student Government Association and Senior Planning Committee have tried to plan more events to garner engagement, but many of them end up falling through. 

“We’ve had people come to meetings and throw out ideas, and we tell them to create a proposal, and then they don’t come back,” said senior Paige Fogle, a member of the Senior Planning Committee. 

She explains that when this occurs, they are left with events put together based on staff input instead of student input. Events that are put on by staff are sometimes less appealing to students.

 Fogle believes that events don’t have the same turnout as senior events last year. 

“For the past two years that I’ve seen seniors come through this building, they are very lively and participating, and we just don’t get that from [this] senior class,” she said.

Bargeman, also a member of the Senior Planning Committee, agrees. “We get more excited than the students,” he said. 

When it comes to engagement in the classroom, many teachers have expressed their concerns for this year’s seniors. 

“I’m concerned about the level of engagement,” said Deirdia Ward, a CTE Teacher and the Department Chair. Ward explains that in the years prior, she used to have to be “on her toes,” when teaching, but now there is a difference that she feels is “hard to process.”

Math teacher Lee Casey explained that in one of his classes that is mostly seniors, only about three people consistently do their work and take notes in class. 

Similarly, in English teacher Sheeba Rashada’s classes, which are predominantly seniors, she had to postpone the socratic seminars because of the lack of students that did the preparation worksheet. This is the first time this has happened in all her years teaching. 

“Seniors are coming to fewer things, seniors are leaving early from things, there is a lot less incentive to stay at things because you know that you’re going to be done with them very soon,” said senior Sabrina Bergeron. 

Some believe a combination of the effects of COVID-19 on the class of 2024 and senioritis could be a plausible explanation for this demotivation. 

“Your sense of class pride and school pride grows when you’re in the building,” Bargeman said. 

Since students came in wearing masks and still fearing COVID-19 outbreaks, he believes this could have affected the class atmosphere. 

Bergeron adds that some seniors might be “emotionally” and “physically taxed” from COVID-19.

“I would say the only reason why it might be exacerbated in our class is because our freshmen year was online, our sophomore year was hybrid and then everyone was figuring out junior year, so senior year is the only real year we’ve had,” Bergeron said. 

She also adds that when her older sister went to Jackson-Reed, her senior year was online, but she was still very motivated because it was only the beginning of COVID-19. 

Fogle is continuing to talk with other seniors about what they want to see from the Senior Planning Committee.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Beacon

Please help us cover our annual operations cost! Donations over $35 dollars are eligible to be added to our subscriber newsletter, which provides special insights into The Beacon's production cycle and regular updates from our staff!

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Natalie Gordon
Natalie Gordon, News Editor
Natalie joined the Beacon because she may or may not want to be Rory Gilmore. When she’s not at soccer practice literally every second of every day you can find her hanging with her identical twin sister or playing with her dog Jonesy who is definitely not just another crusty white dog. Her greatest pride comes from her column with professional athletes called Tiger Talk (shameless plug).
  • 2020-2021: Junior Editor
  • 2021-2022: Junior Sports Editor
  • 2022-23: Sports Editor
  • 2023-24: News Editor
Eli Schwartz, Assistant Director of Art and Design
  • 2022-23: Senior Photo Editor
  • 2023-24: Assistant Director of Art and Design
Donate to The Beacon

Comments (0)

Keep comments respectful and on-topic. Hate speech, profanity, and sharing personal information will not be tolerated.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *