Varying factors keep members of the Jesuit Community online

After having no in-person class since March, Jesuit High School Sacramento reopened its campus on Oct. 20. While many students and teachers have decided to return to campus, others have opted to stay online for various reasons. 

For Zach Schmidt ’21, the choice to continue distance learning wasn’t as much about his own health, but rather the health of his family members.   

I opted to stay online because my family and I wouldn’t feel comfortable if I went,” Zach said. “We are seeing my grandparents frequently so we don’t want to put them at any risk of getting COVID-19.”

The same can be said for Jesuit Drama Artistic Director and Teacher Mr. Ed Trafton ’84, who also considered the safety of his loved ones when he made the decision to stay home. 

“Unlike many other schools in our area, Jesuit was good enough to allow faculty and staff with pre-existing health conditions or those of us who take care of elderly family members to teach from home; I’m in the latter category,” Mr. Trafton said. 

It’s clear the well-being of others has been a large factor as to why many members of the school’s community are not returning to campus, but there are other reasons some aren’t coming back.

“I stayed online because I felt that staying at home helped create a more healthy balance between school and my home life,” said Rob Lipper ’21. “I live less than two miles away from Jesuit, but I would still need to wake up close to two hours before the start of my first class for testing on the first day back every week.” 

Although he’s confident in his decision to continue teaching over Zoom, English Teacher Mr. Ted Hornback ’83 still misses in-person interaction.   

“Next to the illness itself, the separation from loved ones is probably the hardest part of the pandemic,” Mr. Hornback said. “I miss being with my friends. I miss seeing my students in person. I miss the rhythms of the school day. I look forward to the time that we can all safely return to campus. I hope it’s soon.”

Whether it’s the selfless choice to prioritize the health of the most vulnerable or the multiple other reasons that students and faculty members have for staying online, it seems that Jesuit’s choice to give members of the school’s community the option to return to campus has been a benefit to all.