City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Jade (l) and Julia (r)

Featured Article

Local Sisters Reflect on Schooling in 2020

Jade and Julia Schoenfeld are students at Watkinson School in Hartford

The pandemic has wrought a lot of changes in 2020. We asked two Glastonbury teens, Jade and Julia Schoenfeld, students at Watkinson School in Hartford, for their take on what it's been like navigating school during the last year.

Jade, a senior is a member of Watkinson’s two-year Creative Arts Program, which includes a rigorous set of requirements beyond traditional high school curriculum. Julia is in 8th grade. Both compete on Watkinson’s tennis team and are active in the school’s music program. Jade accompanied Watkinson’s Dominican Republic Service Team on the school’s annual week-long international service trip and was given the team’s award for hardest worker.


Jade: Last spring, when the pandemic began, we made a sudden switch to virtual schooling. Watkinson did a good job with it. We got to see our teachers everyday.  We saw most of our classmates and even had class discussions. We got to have synchronous interaction and that made me still want to learn, even though I was home all the time.  

Julia: It was a really hard adjustment.  But Watkinson did a good job making sure everyone got school from their online experience. Watkinson still did classes, like regular school. Now that we are all back on campus, being organized in pods and masking is better than virtual schooling.

Jade: I feel safe on campus. Everyone is doing a good job with masks and social distancing.  Even though we are missing out on some big school traditions, like grade level retreats, we are still getting the benefits of being together.


Jade: Since coming to Watkinson in 7th grade, I have been surrounded by very supportive teachers and students, and I have been given a lot of opportunities to try different things, lots of freedom to choose what I want to do. I didn’t anticipate these new opportunities would really change me. I am more confident now.

I love music and singing; if I could, I would change the world through music and inspire people to take risks outside of their comfort zone.  Watkinson has taught me to do that and be more open minded.  As a Creative Arts Program diploma student, I have learned to speak up and lead in class discussions. When I was cast as the lead in “Hello, Dolly!" I really stepped outside of my comfort zone. I had never played a leading role before!  

Julia: Watkinson showed me how to expand on what I already know.  In math, we are taught to find more than one way to solve a problem.  We use different tools, strategies, and approaches to get the same result. Whether at home or at school, I am now thinking 10 steps ahead, like a chess game. I now strategize before I act.


Julia: Now that I am starting eighth grade, it is easy to see my favorite day. It was my second day of school in 6th grade. There were only 16 people in my class. At lunch, everyone wanted to sit together. We happened to be at one of the smallest tables in the dining room and we just kept on adding chairs. By the end of lunch, all 16 of us were sitting at this one round table!

Jade: As a senior, I have had lots of best days. For me, every day before a performance of a play or a concert is my favorite. Those days are filled with anticipation. There is a powerful sense of unity...we are all about to do something significant together.

  • Jade (l) and Julia (r) Schoenfeld
  • Julia (l) and Jade (r)
  • Jade (l) and Julia (r)