Megan Strecker ‘20
As students have been getting accustomed to their new school environment, seniors are reflecting on how they think their final year will look. The typical senior activities are up in the air due to Covid guidelines, leaving the Class of 2021 with only guesses, concerns, and hopes for how they get to spend their last year at HB.
One thing that excites remote students is that they can choose to be in-person or remote. If Covid cases decline or a vaccine comes out, remote student Cassi Ricks ‘21 hopes that she can return to school without endangering her family’s safety. On the flip side, some in-person students are concerned that everyone will have to go remote if cases increase. “Remote learning itself is already difficult. You lose that interaction environment,” said in-person student Collin Strecker ‘21. He then continued that if the school would go remote, then students will “lose the flexibility of schedule that remote learning did provide, which [he] think[s] was the only upside.”
Covid guidelines have led to a change in how the students interact with their learning and how teachers support their students. “It’s kind of like walking a tightrope in terms of being the rule follower. I am the adult in the room, I have to make sure that we are following safety guidelines, that we are following school policy, and still encouraging kids to be creative and come up with these new ideas,” said Christina Ellis, Social Studies teacher and one of the Senior Class Advisors. She finds that she has to not only encourage students, but also be mindful of all of the new policies that the school has put in place.
While both in-person and remote students are looking forward to Senior activities such as Prom and assemblies, remote students are concerned that they will either be canceled or that there will not be a remote option. Ricks said, “Personally, I would love to go to prom.” The Senior student council is doing what they can to keep the Senior experience the same. “The most important for me is making sure we still give you guys a prom and that that prom is still fun,” said Ellis
Still, some students doubt that fan-favorite activities will not be possible due to social distance guidelines. “We probably won’t have a pep rally or anything and that kind of sucks,” said Zoe Bertolami ‘21. Bertolami loves the school assemblies but does not expect them to happen due to social distance guidelines. “I do think change is good sometimes,” said Ellis. While some activities may be canceled, Ellis talked about how the student council is working on new ways of doing things. While the new ideas are certainly different from what Seniors expect, she thinks they will be no less fun.
With most of everything being online, some students have found scheduling clubs has become more demanding “Everyone is like ‘oh, we should have them all at the same time at six o’ clock in the evening on a computer through zoom’ so you spend forty minutes trying to make stuff work,” said Strecker, who participates in not just the school’s Robotics Team, but also takes karate lessons.
One advantage for this year’s Senior Class is time and the ability to prepare to have fun while still being socially distant. Last year, the Class of 2020 was sent home with little warning as COVID hit the country. Due to how rapidly the COVID pandemic developed and how little was known, the Senior Class spent months trying to figure out if they would be allowed to have a prom and had to have a shortened and spaced out graduation.
The Class of 2021’s Student council has been hard at work coming up with creative solutions to make this year just as fun as in previous years and to prevent the same problems seniors encountered last year. They have already taken inspiration from the Class of 2020 and are looking at having an outdoor prom. Still, the year has just begun, which leaves the future full of possibilities, both good and bad.