Episode 12: Academics, In A Pandemic: The Impossible Math of Reopening Schools

When the coronavirus first led to the closures of schools across the country last spring, we all thought the situation would be temporary. But now, as COVID-19 seems to be sticking around, district officials struggle to decide how to adapt.

While state and local governments are releasing guidelines on how to safely reopen schools, and the Trump administration pushes in-person instruction for all regardless of the health risks, nothing has been set in stone.

We talked to a group of students from several Cincinnati-area high schools, then took their questions and concerns to area administrators and pediatricians.

The Podcasters:

Eliot Berberich (episode co-producer and host), a rising sophomore at Talawanda H.S., is a D&Z regular and honoree in the 2020 Democracy & Me Student Voices Competition. Woodworking is one of his hobbies.

Kailani Childress is a freshman at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, majoring in dance. She’s narrated past D&Z episodes and promos and enjoys many nerd-type things. 

Abby Guinigundo is a rising junior at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, where she studies vocal music. In her free time, she does musical theatre. She is also the logistics director for Ohio Youth for Climate Justice. She is very thankful she gets to share her thoughts on the pandemic back-to-school situation.

My name is Muhorakeye Joyeuse and I’m a sophomore at Aiken High School. My hobbies are running cross country, doing outside activities like skating, climbing, and swimming, and I am interested in learning Kung Fu. Above all, I enjoy watching action movies the most.

I’m Andy Curtis Silva, and I am a senior at Aiken High School. My hobbies are soccer, especially Real Madrid, playing video games, and spending time with my family.

I’m Sanjay Swamy and I am a rising junior at William Mason High School. I play tennis and love to watch almost all sports but golf. I have a keen interest in economics and hope to go to college to study economics, finance, and/or business. In my free time, I love to photograph things, and I like to mix sound as well on launchpads. Additionally, I love to play video games. One interesting thing about me is that I am a relative of former Democratic presidential candidate and possible VP candidate Kamala Harris from California. 

And featuring Eliot’s interviews with:

  • Mike Moroski, Cincinnati Public Schools board member
  • Chris Peltier, M.D., President-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter
  • Edward Theroux, Talawanda School District superintendent 
  • Molly Merz, Talawanda High School assistant principal