HAFTR Highlights

Overcoming Covid with a fresh start, a new school year

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Following a fun-filled summer, HAFTR High School has returned for another successful school year. After last school year’s daunting transition back to the building from the previous months on Zoom, HAFTR is ecstatic to be able to open our doors again for a new, safe school year.

Last year, many students missed out on in-person learning because they either opted to stay home temporarily for precautionary measures, had an exposure and were quarantined, or were permanent remote learners. This proved to be challenging, with classes being a mix of students in the room as well as those Zooming in from home.

Nonetheless, teachers and students made the best of the situation and developed an effective, positive learning environment. Thanks to the vaccine, this year has begun with lightened Covid-19 restrictions. All HAFTR students have returned to full in-person learning, which we are so happy and grateful to experience.

Thanks to all faculty and a majority of students being vaccinated, there are no longer barriers between the rows of desks in classrooms, and there are shorter distances required for socializing and learning, which is a refreshing return to normal. 

Even though students and faculty remain masked in order to ensure the safety of everyone in the building, the looser restrictions create an open, engaging environment that we all missed throughout this pandemic. 

To help in the transition, there are incredible updates to the building.  HAFTR added a new student lounge where students can congregate during free periods and breaks. The lounge has comfortable, modern furniture and is a great space to spend time on campus. 

In addition, the library has been transformed into a new computer center, where students can comfortably do their work with brand new computers. These upgrades make it easier for students of all grades to have a space to be together, which is much needed after being six feet apart for so long. 

With a new start also comes a new sports season! Sports teams are making a comeback this year after being canceled last year to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Now, with HAFTR’s sports teams being fully vaccinated, as well as their opponents, inter-school games are back.

HAFTR kicked off the school year with tryouts for girls and boys junior varsity and varsity basketball, girls JV and varsity volleyball, girls and boys JV and varsity hockey, girls varsity softball, and boys JV and varsity flag football. Students are eager to start off this year’s sports season after last year’s hiatus, and will undoubtedly play hard and be successful. Go Hawks!

It is significant that the first month of school also coincides with the Jewish New Year, a time when students enjoy learning about the holidays and spiritually uplifting messages from their teachers. Many lessons of the new year encourage us to be introspective and approach the year ahead with ambition and drive.

Rabbi Arie Chait, an inspiring teacher, taught me the importance of small acts, and how even seemingly insignificant attempts at self-growth can lead to incredible things. While removing barriers in the classrooms, updating the library and lounge, and resuming sports may be small steps toward normalcy, they will no doubt pave the way for a year of continued fulfillment and achievement.

HAFTR is looking forward to a safe and successful school year, filled with learning, growth and fun. I’m excited to be the HAFTR Highlights writer, and look forward to updating everyone on all the amazing things to come. 

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