There are currently many uncertainties about this school year’s future, particularly for juniors. With the rapid spread of COVID-19, many plans juniors had for this year have been changed. Standardized tests, like the ACT and SAT have been cancelled; AP tests are being offered at home; prom was postponed indefinitely; colleges cancelled tours. It is now possible that the virus will continue to keep schools closed into the Class of 2021’s senior year, potentially impacting the college application system. To help ease anxieties and answer some uncertainties, I interviewed the junior class president, Isaac Lenner.
1) I saw that you posted on Facebook about junior prom. Can you share any details about the plan to reschedule? Is there a plan to reschedule at all? If COVID-19 keeps us out of school until summer vacation, will we hold prom in the fall?
We do plan to reschedule Junior prom. I have been working hard with the rest of the student council, our advisors, the school administration/Board of Education and the Hilton so that we can reschedule the prom. We do not have any specific details at the moment as it cannot be predicted if/when we will be returning to school. In the scenario that we do not return to school until after summer vacation we will work towards rescheduling Junior Prom in the fall. We could be the first class in recent memory to have a homecoming, which would be a special experience for our class.
2) Have you been in contact with the administration regarding communication with the junior class?
Throughout this entire time, I have been in constant contact with administration from the high school and with the Board of Education. When the administration comes out with new policies as we adapt to distance learning, I work hard to ensure that our class understands the new policies and has the resources we need to adapt. Additionally, I have had class members come to me with ideas about what the school should do to approve our current situation and I relay these ideas to the administration so that we can improve students’ learning during this uncertain time.
3) What, if anything, is the student council trying to do to keep up class morale and connection?
As a student council we try to keep class morale up by reaching out to members of the class. In addition to posting on our class’ social media outlets, the four of us have been calling or texting class members to check in on them and just catch up. We encourage others to do the same as having a strong community is essential to get through a time like this.
4) What do you believe is your most important responsibility as class president during these strange and difficult times?
Before school officially closed I spent a lot of time working with the administration and the Hilton about the possibility of prom being canceled (for the planned date) and what I needed to do to keep the possibility open for rescheduling. After school closed I feel like my most important job as class president is as a resource to my classmates. I am always open to answer questions, help students adapt, or just have a friendly conversation during a time of isolation. In addition, I have been in conversations with the Board of Education representing my classmates’ ideas to improve this transition.
5) If COVID-19 keeps schools closed until the fall, do you have any plans to help the junior class still get the senior experience?
Even if school is closed until the fall we will still be able to communicate to the class through our class email, Google Classroom, Facebook, and Instagram page. We will provide updates and certain reminders so that we do not miss out on the senior experience. Our senior experience may even be improved with the rare opportunity to have an event at the beginning of the year, such as a homecoming at the Hilton, to make up for Junior Prom. No other class has gotten that opportunity.
6) If COVID-19 keeps schools closed until the fall, what do you think the biggest challenge will be for the class to overcome? What can the administration, the student council, and the junior class do to mitigate this challenge?
Many members of our great class of 2021 have been affected by COVID-19 by SAT/ACT getting canceled, college visits being canceled, and changes in the AP exams. Members of the junior class need to remain calm and continue working hard during this challenging time. When there is more clarity on the situation the administration and student council are going to work hard to make sure everyone applying to college has what they need and are prepared to do so.