Students, Staff Build Community During Pandemic

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After school, varsity cheer rehearses their choreography in preparation for football games, pep rallies and Homecoming. During home games, cheer, color guard, the Vikettes and marching band perform in the commons that morning, a tradition just returning to North with the pandemic.

Gail Nuestro, Staff Writer

As students and teachers return to full-time in-person learning this year, they seek ways to restore the community built from years prior.

“In high school, I think that some of my best memories are when everyone was doing something together, so I hope that the younger grades that have only experienced pandemic high school can experience normal, fun school spirit high school,” said senior Molly Reeves.

Homecoming, spirit weeks, and in person performances are just a few of the ways that the student body is hoping to come together in 2021. Though they won’t be replicated in the same way, the excitement is still accumulating for these events.

“We didn’t do [performances in the commons] last year. There was no band, no building of community, and that goes beyond what’s just happening in the four walls. The concept of us building a community as a North High student body, I think that’s critical,” said social studies teacher Jim Hubbard.

The in-person high school experience last year was highly inconsistent, leaving both students and staff with difficult circumstances to succeed academically, but also experience other dimensions of school. This year, school leaders are trying to make sure students and staff feel a sense of belonging by figuring out safe ways for the community to meet.

“My admin team and I meet every week, and every week we brainstorm different things we can do to build that community back up,” said head principal, David Jones.

CDC recommendations for social distancing and masks need to be followed when planning any kind of event. During school-wide events, this means being methodical and creative in process.

“[The] different things that we can do and implement [need to be done] slowly, to stay within regulations,” said Jones.

The ability of having a choice to participate in clubs is also being reintroduced. Students, especially underclassmen, are just beginning to see what high school is really like.

“I really like that there are more after school activities for everyone. They can express themselves more,” said freshman Jennifer Chin.

Many students and staff members are thrilled to be united in the building and are determined to bring together members of the community once more on the journey to normalcy.