COVID-19 has changed everyone’s lives in various crazy ways. This school year, that is true more than ever.
For sophomores, juniors, and seniors, the changes are blatantly obvious and frequently have us missing what used to be. But what about the freshman? Here are some specific changes Cape Central High School has made since COVID, and how our students feel about them.
MORNING: Club meetings starting at seven A.M. are a thing of the past, as is eating breakfast in the commons. Instead, students pick up their breakfast at the door and head straight to their classroom to eat. The most notable change, however, is all of the principals greeting students as they walk inside every morning with a temperature scan.
CLASSES: The traditional seven period day has been thrown out for a five period block scheduling system. Forty five minutes has become seventy five, meaning teachers must teach more material in that window. Because of this, students now have a final after each term, rather than just a final at the end of the semester. Full year classes are now a semester, and semester classes are now just a term. Upon entering and leaving a classroom, students must sanitize their hands, and teachers are required to wipe down the desks with cleaner after each class leaves.
HALLWAYS: Cape Central High School is a large building. With two floors, seven hallways, a music hall, and auditorium, CHS is an easy place to get lost in. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors have been at CHS for at least a year now, and have learned shortcuts and quick ways to navigate to class. Due to COVID-19, however, administration has changed the flow of traffic in the hallways, making both floors a “one-way” system. This system was implemented to keep the bodies going one particular way to avoid exposure from students going the other way. Keristane Monahan, a current senior, has been at CHS for all four years of her high school career. Monahan said, “At first I was upset because I couldn’t figure out which stairwell went up or down and it takes so long to get to my first hour. But now that it’s later in the year, I’m used to it and I manage my time better to get to my first hour on time.” She’s not the only one who feels this way. Senior Yuktee Srikant agreed, saying, “It’s a little inconvenient, but I understand why we do it. It limits contact between people, and I want to stay in school as long as I can.”
LUNCH: Out of all the changes at CHS due to coronavirus, lunch is by the most drastically different. Traditionally, there are three lunch groups (A, B, and C) who go to the commons in shifts for lunch. For food items, every student is allowed five – with an entrée (main dish) counting as two. There are entrée staples in the cafeteria, including a pasta bar with spaghetti and chicken alfredo, a mini subway-style station where students can get a sandwich with bread, toppings, and cheese of their choice.
Aside from the menu changes, the lunch process is now during fourth hour, with students eating lunch with their fourth period class. Every class has a set time period to go down to the commons and get their lunch. When leaving the commons, every student gets a piece of wax paper to cover their tray in the hallway. William Gorman, a current junior, commented, “I understand why we have the paper, but it’s awfully inconvenient. It flaps around and is hard to control on your tray. However, the part that bothers me the most is having to follow the arrows back to the classroom. I understand why we have the one-way hallways, but when there’s no one in the hallway it doesn’t make much sense to me.” Most students agree, with a vast majority missing the social component to lunch. “Our academic support classes are great, but I miss seeing my friends in the commons during our lunch period. I never realized how much I took the simple act of eating lunch in the cafeteria for granted,” commented Izahia Betancur, a senior.
RALLIES AND DANCES: Homecoming is often an event every student looks forward to. Whether it’s the fun spirit week before, the amazing game, or the penultimate dance where the king and queen are crowned. This year though, most of those traditions have been replaced with new, coronavirus-friendly activities.
All dances this year, so far, have been canceled. Meaning there was no homecoming bash in the small gym this fall. Our Student Senate, however, went above and beyond to try to make the week as memorable as possible. Every main hallway in the school was themed like a major city, from New Orleans to New York. Spirit week also hosted five unique days of fun dress-up ideas to keep school spirit afloat during coronavirus.
Where the school really kicked it into high gear though, was the pep rally the staff and a few select students made to replace our normal rallies in the big gym. Administration included everything we usually have at our rallies, including a performance from the cheer squad, announcing of the homecoming candidates, and the famous teacher dance led by the talented Ms. DuBose.
These changes might seem somewhat silly, but they are keeping us safe. Other schools have called off school and switched to online learning for the rest of the year. Cape Central, however, is still in session and hosting sporting events, musical concerts, and extracurriculars after school. Coronavirus simply cannot stop the CT tigers!