News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

High schoolers face disrupted end of year

Governor Kate Brown has ordered that schools remain closed until April 28 at the earliest, requesting that schools transfer their classes online. For the students of Sisters High School, where there are so many hands-on classes, many fear they will miss out on what they had started early in the school year.

Allison Mansfield, a senior in Tony Cosby’s woodworking classes says the shutdown “has affected my guitar-building class. I probably will not be able to finish.” Senior Sierra Henneous, a student in Rick Johnson’s Americana Project (a class that teaches students to write and record original music on guitar), fears that “our annual Americana CD will be heavily affected because of the cancellation” as we have had to cancel recording our music for the CD at a local studio until further notice.

The shutdown of the high school has also affected the spring sports teams. Senior Quinlan Crowe expressed that the shut down “cancels all practices and meets until after the school opens again,” Unfortunately for Crowe who plays tennis, April 28 “is the end of the season which means I just do not get to play tennis this final year of my high school career.”

Junior Pearl Gregg noted that the lacrosse team — which is supported by Sisters Park & Recreation District rather than the high school — is in a similar situation and explained that “if we were to return to school on the 28th of April that would only leave us 11 days left of the regular [lacrosse] season.”

Senior students fear that their prom and graduation — things they have dreamed of since their educational journeys began — will be cancelled. Mansfield noted that, “It’s concerning to know that we could lose our graduation, we could lose our prom, but even more than that it’s more concerning to know that we really have no idea how long this is going to go on, or what the true consequences of it all will be.”

Even though the students may be worried, there are still positives they can take away from time off. Freshman Lauren Taylor pointed out that following the end of the shutdown, “hopefully students will understand that coming to school everyday, and staying from 8:30 to 3:20 is not something to hate.”

Taylor, as well as many other students like Gregg, have pointed out that even though we complain about school, we all know that “school is where we all see each other and it is such a huge part of our young lives. At this point, it’s hard to know what to do without each other and without being at school in general,” Gregg said.

Many high school students are making the most of their time at home, despite the unfortunate circumstances. They are practicing social distancing while spending time with their loved ones and being productive at home. For many seniors who go off to college or out into the real world next year, Crowe pointed out that they can embrace this time as a time to “spend time with family and enjoy their company before heading off next year.”

She also notes that personally she is “using this time to stop, relax, and think about the future.” Senior Evan Martinez says he’s “been trying to stay on top of what I can. I am currently taking two online classes, and I am making sure that I am caught up in both.” Henneous has been making the most of her time at home as well and has “mostly been working on my AP art portfolio. I’ve also been working a lot on music as well.”

Even though COVID-19 has caused a lot of worry and confusion, there’s a lot we can take from this experience, as pointed out by seniors Evan Martinez and Allison Mansfield. Martinez notes that “moments like these teach us a lot about who we are as humans and how we react in a crisis.” Which is why it’s important, as Mansfield says, “that we all stay together and we support each other no matter what’s going on.”


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