Principal Gasparini on Possible Return to Full In-Person Education

Principal Gasparini. Photo by Emilia Patalia, '22

The proverbial rumor mill has been spinning wildly throughout the last few weeks in the J-D School District.  Many are excited to hear that J-D is considering returning to full in-person instruction, while others are concerned with the safety of the district amid the coronavirus pandemic.  RamPage News editor Isaiah Steinberg interviewed J-DHS Principal Paul Gasparini to put the rumors to rest and provide much-needed information for students and their parents.

There have been rumors that J-D will return to five-day-per-week in-person education following Spring Break.  Is this confirmed?  If not, when can we expect to go back?

It is not confirmed.  I know that Dr. Smith, our superintendent has been working with the county executive’s office and with the Department of Health to get some clarity on what the guidance is going to be.  As far as we know, the guidance for in-person instruction is the same as it’s been all year, and if it remains this way, our method and model of instruction isn’t going to change; we’ll still be in the hybrid mode.  We do not have a date when that will change. We have no idea whether it will change after Spring Break, whether it will change in May; we have no ideas about that yet.  It’s been frustrating.  Dr. Smith has worked very hard.  It’s been very frustrating for the whole school system not to get specific answers.  We’re kind of in a holding pattern, still, unfortunately, with no dates.

How would the school adjust to ensure the safety and well-being of students and teachers if we did go back?

Yeah, we’d follow all the same guidance, so we’d still have to do masks, we’d still have to have the cleaning supplies.  We’d do everything the same, we’d just have more people here.  You know, and it’d be a challenge, it would be a learning experience for all of us.  Our students have been so good–so great, actually, and our teachers have worked really hard, so I’m pretty confident that we can do it well, I really am.

If we did go back this year, would there still be a remote option for students?

Yes.  During this year.  It’s an open question whether [there will be a remote option] for next year, it’s not clear.

Is there any additional information that you think will be important to students and parents that you want to highlight now?

Well, the big thing [is that] the AP administration changed, and we’re in the middle of finalizing the exam schedule for APs for the spring of 2021.  We hope to share that on Friday afternoon, the AP exam schedule for J-D High School.  It’s a pretty good exam schedule.  A number of our exams will be digital exams.  We’re trying to be as late in the game as we can to give students a lot of opportunities.  That’s what we’re doing.

Isaiah Steinberg, Class of 2023, is the RamPage news editor. He has been writing for RamPage since freshman year. Aside from RamPage, he participates in Model UN. He enjoys fitness, tennis, food, geography, video games, making YouTube videos, and building computers. He has a dog and a half-brother, who are both awesome.