Homecoming is going to take on a new Covid-proof look next week as the Chargers prepare to take on the Uniontown Eagles. Students and staff enacted numerous changes in an attempt to make homecoming fun, but there were some disappointing decisions made. Student Council representatives met with principal Jan Hutley and discussed options for continuing with the traditional homecoming activities safely, although a few are still being prohibited.
Returning to school during a pandemic is concerning for a multitude of reasons: the unknowns of how long we’ll be able to continue in person, the constant possibility of getting sick or spreading the virus, the potential loss of another school year and sports season. All things considered, we feel USD 329 is doing all that it reasonably can to keep us safe and in school.
With school being transitioned to completely online due to the current stay at home order as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHS coaching staff and players took time to reflect on the season that could have been. With the 2020 season, the baseball team had some changes to the coaching staff. David Amer and Colby Harris joined the team as assistant coaches. “I was really enjoying getting back into the baseball groove and working with all of the guys,” Amer said. “It sucks we don't get to enjoy baseball this spring, but if it helps keep family members alive, it's what we need to do.”
On March 17, Governor Kelly made the decision to close all Kansas school facilities for the remainder of the year, ending the 2020 track season before it ever began. Track had high hopes for this season, with several returning state qualifiers and medalists, and upperclassmen who “set the tone for what was expected,” according to head coach Roger Alderman.
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.
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.