Governor Wolf closes schools as COVID-19 causes major changes in school events

by Daphne Riddle

Junior Editor-in-Chief

Check out the timeline below.

“We need to understand that we are all in this together and that we all need to support each other.”

Mr. Mark Shue, Principal

In news reports from April 9, Governor Wolf closed all Pennsylvania schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. There is no information about where this will lead the district’s academics and scheduled events.

 On Friday, March 13, 2020, students, teachers, and staff at all Red Lion Area schools got the unlucky news that schools would close for at least a two week break out of caution of the virus, COVID-19. Since then, the spreading pandemic has changed life as known, as closures have been extended and other public places have been temporarily closed. 

“During times of great tragedy and unrest, public schools are the glue that hold communities together,” said Principal Mr. Mark Shue. “That is why it is very important that we do what we can to keep our students engaged and connected with the High School.”

Many questions linger regarding end of the year events that could be affected by the quarantine. Seniors in the high school have raised concerns about prom and graduation.

Mr. Shue sent a letter out March 27  saying that the district is planning on keeping these events on the calendar for the students. In the letter, it was said that seniors have worked hard for years, and the school wants to do everything they can to keep these events planned as a reward for the students’ hard work. “We,” said Mr. Shue,  “are going to do everything that we can to hold the end of the year events that Seniors hold dear.”

From a school perspective, classes have been moved to online learning until the unknown time of return to regular schooling. Starting on March 30, teachers gave thirty minutes of work for each period, three days per week. This allows teachers to continue teaching their course’s content, although not to the full extent that could be reached in a classroom. 

Other schools have made the decision to go on a pass or fail basis for the remaining period of the year. Red Lion, however, has chosen to continue with normal grading methods. 

The school may change the amount of work given, however, based on the level course. Red Lion’s main priority the first few weeks was to allow kids to adjust to the new way of learning, but once the change becomes more normal, more work could be distributed depending on the level of the class. 

Many questions linger regarding end of the year events that could be affected by the quarantine. Seniors in the high school have raised concerns about prom and graduation.

Although many events throughout the school have been cancelled due to the pandemic, the Senior High has been working to create new ways to keep students interacting and feeling a part of the school community. 

The Board of School Directors will hold a virtual school board meeting Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. Virtual attendees must register with a code and follow the directions for participation outlined on the web page. 

The week of April 6-9, the Student Council held a virtual spirit week. The planners included themes such as extracurricular day, hats off to essential workers day, animal day, and Red Lion Pride day to keep students participating in a school “event”. Kids were asked to take pictures of themselves participating and post them on social media for other students to see. 

Staff from the school also worked together to make a TikTok account for the Senior High as another way of keeping the students and staff involved in a school-like environment. The video featured school faculty and staff smiling and waving, spreading positivity to the students and staff stuck in their homes.  

Through these tough times, it is important for the schools to stay connected with the students. “We need to understand that we are all in this together,” said Mr. Shue, “and that we all need to support each other.”

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