Two weeks ago I got the news that I, along with sophomore Sarah Vanstory, had made the Kansas Choral Directors Association 2020 All-State Treble Choir. I was super excited at first. It is such a huge accomplishment. Only about 75 high school girls across the entire state of Kansas get into the choir each summer, and this is the second year for both Sarah and I to make it. I made it my sophomore year, and Sarah made it last year.
Although the buildings are empty, USD 329 is still educating students through a Continuous Learning Plan. In mid-March, Governor Laura Kelly closed all Kansas school buildings for the remainder of the school year because of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing USD 329 and the other school districts to continue students’ education from outside the classroom.
For episode two of “Cooking with the Charger,” newspaper adviser Brendan Praeger teams up with his son Logan to make French toast. As always, be sure to wash your hands well before cooking.
In our first installment of “Cooking with the Charger,” watch seniors Kaytlyn Meseke and Laurel Barber make popcorn for a final wrap on Kaytlyn’s series of popcorn reviews. The two laugh while making popcorn for the whole family.
Mr. Praeger joins seniors Kaytlyn Meseke and Laurel Barber remotely to discuss the school closing due to COVID-19, the impending transition to online learning and how to pass the time while social distancing.
At 4 p.m. yesterday, governor Laura Kelly announced that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. Details about alternative learning via small groups, packets or online assignments will be figured out in the coming weeks, according to an email superintendent Brad Starnes sent to staff. “We're in uncharted waters. We want to be proactive and help our kids,” Starnes wrote. Students, teachers and parents shared their initial response to the news.
With COVID-19 being passed around like wildfire, many sports programs decided to end seasons early. The NBA suspended the season after a Jazz player preliminarily tested positive for the Coronavirus. The NCAA cancelled the winter and spring championships to combat the problem. Both organizations had a very valid reason to end the season, since health comes above sports, but many athletes did not want to see the end so suddenly. From the NBA to the NCAA to KSHSAA, the ending of many seasons crushed the dreams many hopeful athletes had to be named the top dog.
With new cancellations and closings happening every minute, it’s hard not to have coronavirus on our minds. We here at the Charger believe that, although inconvenient and disorienting, closing down the school and activities is smart and probably necessary. First, you have to look at the number of students and faculty that have travelled outside of Kansas over spring break. Some have likely been exposed to COVID-19 and it’s smart to provide time to practice social distancing and assure that they do not have the virus.
Even with the coronavirus restriction, the USD 329 Board of Education met for its monthly meeting, taking precautions to ensure the safety of the members. During the meeting, the board members distanced themselves from each other and the meeting was live-streamed via the district’s Facebook page to follow the new CDC coronavirus guidelines of no more than 10 people in a gathering.