“I mean, I know with our children, our grandchildren, the end of the school year particularly for seniors is particularly important, the prom, sporting events, so many, many different things, recognitions. And we’re not telling the schools how to do this, but again, the gathering of a significant number of people is a dangerous situation. And it’s a real shame. I just can’t express how sorry I am about that,” DeWine said in his press conference on April 20.
DeWine also expressed his uncertainty about whether the next school year would start in schools or online, but mentioned that schools have already begun preparing for fall.
“We’ve made no decision about the fall yet. We’re going to have to see where we’re going. I know that parents, teachers, administrators are anxious for a decision about the fall, but we are simply not in a position yet to make that decision. I am happy to say though that schools are in fact already preparing for the fall,” DeWine said in his April 20 press conference.
Lexi Shabazz is a senior at the high school that has been affected by schools being closed. The worst part about schools being closed for her is that her senior year is over.
“The worst part of schools being closed is that my senior year is over and I didn’t get to have all the fun at the end of my senior year. Also, I didn’t get to say a goodbye and thank you to the teachers who really made an impact on my time,” Shabazz said.
With schools being closed for the rest of the year, it has had a significant impact on clubs and classes like yearbook, as Shabazz is an editor for the yearbook.
“Well, I am an editor in the yearbook so this has a huge effect on our book! We had to rethink some pages and just try to make it as good for our seniors as possible with all the cancellations,” Shabazz said.
Although she would rather be able to go to school and senior events for the rest of the academic year, Shabazz feels like it was the right decision to close schools. However, even though she feels it was the right decision, Shabazz is still going to miss multiple aspects of school.
“I am most going to miss being in yearbook and student council. These were my favorite classes of the day because I got to be myself with the people who truly cared about what they were dong. I am going to miss being in Mrs. Payne’s room in a test and hearing her tell us the test does not define us. I know it sounds silly, but after hearing it for two years, it becomes a huge part of what makes school so special,” Shabazz said.
Another senior at the high school that has been affected in multiple ways by schools closing is Matthew Duffy.
The worst part about schools being closed for the rest of the academic year for Duffy is that track has been cancelled.
“The worst of school being cancelled for me is the fact that track is cancelled and I am unable to see my friends. It’s really hard to go from seeing your friends and teammates every day to not seeing any of them in over a month,” Duffy said.
However, track is only one of the cancelled school events that Duffy was looking forward too. He was especially looking forward to competing in the senior survivor event, as he has been looking forward to competing in the annual events for a long time.
Although Duffy is disappointed that school has been closed for the rest of the academic year and many fun senior events have been cancelled, he believes it was the right decision to close schools.
“I am very very sad by the decision, but I do believe it is the right decision. It really sucks that I have to miss the most fun and memorable part of my academic career, but if what we are doing is saving lives, I am very understanding that this was the right decision,” Duffy said.
With school being online for the rest of the year, Duffy misses seeing his teachers and classmates, and wishes he could have one more day of school to say goodbye to everyone.
“I just miss seeing my classmates and teachers. I’ve been texting and face timing, but it’s not the same as the person to person daily interactions. As crazy as this sounds, I miss the stress and complaining about school much more than I thought I would. I just wish I had one more day to say goodbye to my teachers and classmates,” Duffy said.
Mrs. Surrena, who teaches art at the high school, is one of the teachers that has had to adjust to school being online for the rest of the year.
School being online for the rest of the year has forced Surrena to simplify her projects and class overall, because she cannot provide examples and supplies as she could at school.
“Closing of the school has affected classes because I’m limited to what kids can do at home. In my classroom, I can rely on all the supplies I have and all the different visual examples I can show. But now, with students not being able to have those or not knowing what everyone has, I really have to simplify and provide many more options than previously,” Surrena said.
Surrena has had to change her class more than a teacher that teaches a core class because she cannot provide the supplies students need for art projects.
“I do more projects that utilize different types of materials that students might not have at home. Whereas now I can’t do that because the supplies aren’t available to everyone. I’m really trying to have kids learn the same concepts that we’d be learning in class, but just through different processes and different materials,” Surrena said.
Although Surrena has had challenges with simplifying her class and grading, her most significant challenge for the rest of the year will be not seeing students.
“I think my biggest challenge is not seeing students. Not having the time to talk to students and build relationships with them, because I really try to get to know my students and some of that is sparked through their artwork and some of that is just sparked through conversation in the classroom. Now we don’t have that. Because we don’t have that, I think teaching can become impersonal,” Surrena said.
Although it has been announced that school will be online for the rest of the academic year and all spring sports have been cancelled, it has not yet been announced when graduation will take place.