These words appeared over and over when we asked our readers in New York City and Newark earlier this year to tell us how the pandemic impacted their school communities.
We heard from 275 parents, students, and teachers — and the responses were jarring. Relatives had died of COVID, and jobs were lost. Teachers felt drained. Some children were adrift in school and at home.
“It has been devastating physically and emotionally,” said one Brooklyn parent who is also a teacher, echoing dozens of others impacted by school building closures and remote learning.
“Several of my family members have lost their jobs and had to move into homeless shelters...many of my friends have had an increase in depression, anxiety, and this growing fear of being isolated,” said a 10th-grade student in Newark, speaking to the pandemic’s financial toll and the emotional strain felt by so many.
Photographed for Chalkbeat, with words by Carrie Melago.
Pandemic 360: A look at COVID’s impact on school communities
In Pandemic 360, Chalkbeat and Univision 41 explore the many ways COVID-19 impacted the lives of students, parents, and teachers in Newark and New York City.