The New Norm: Sixth Grade Amidst the Pandemic

Talia Colton June 17, 2024

Hi! I’m sixth grader Talia Colton, and I get to go to school during the pandemic. At Hillel, in order to be at school, we wear masks and stay socially-distanced. This is my experience.

When I am in school, I wear masks and face shields (if needed). The masks keep us safe, and are a very important resource for school. During classes, our masks stay on. We are only with one group of people for all of our classes, except for Hebrew, which is leveled, and that’s when we mix groups. We use our face shields when it’s time for snacks.

Recess is the time we can socialize with whoever we want in our grade outside. It’s great to be with close friends and also hang out with new people, a group that you were never friends with before. When it is cold out, we put on face shields, and eat lunch at our desks, which are also socially-distanced, and only with students in our homeroom.

This year, we also had a different Shabbaton. Usually a Shabbaton takes place at Hillel or at Camp Tamarack. It’s a big sleepover with your grade, and you celebrate Shabbat, play board games, have outside activities, and do havdalah, and it’s a lot of fun. This year, we had to do it differently because of COVID. We went to a farm and it ended up being great! We went on a hayride, drank cider, played glow-in-the-dark “capture the flag,” did havdalah, and sat around the bonfire together! It may not have been the same, but at least we could still have a Shabbaton during the pandemic.

Last spring, I was online. It was tricky. I had a hard time focusing and understanding what we were doing. I am so beyond grateful that I can go to school and be with my friends during the pandemic.

There has never been a better time to consider a Hillel education for your child. To learn more about our safe and connected community, we welcome you to attend our K-8 Virtual Open House, conveniently offered on November 11 at 9:30 a.m. and November 12 at 7:00 p.m. 

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Talia Colton

Talia Colton is a sixth grader at Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit.