Coronavirus Cares and Concerns: Unwelcome Days and Uncertain Futures

Empty classrooms in the spring of 2020 is not what the students of Brewster expected.  So, what will the fall of 2020 look like?  No one quite knows yet.

Empty classrooms in the spring of 2020 is not what the students of Brewster expected. So, what will the fall of 2020 look like? No one quite knows yet.

We woke up on the morning of March 12th, 2020, and went to school just like any other school day. The seniors parked their cars in the BHS parking lot. We met our friends at our lockers, went downstairs for breakfast, got our cups of coffee, and thought nothing of it. We were preparing for that math test or finishing the last of our English homework. Friends hugged at their lockers. It was a normal Thursday morning. We went through Periods 1 through 4 just like we always did. We made plans for the weekend. We were excited for Spring Break and knew we’d almost already made it to the end of Quarter 3!

And then we got the announcement. Oh, my class was so excited. We were going home early! And, wow, no school tomorrow either? Then the rumors started, ¨I heard that she heard that we would be out for two whole weeks!¨

¨Wait, but what about our extra snow days?¨

Seniors pulled out of the senior parking lot for what would unknowingly be the last time. English homework never did get handed in. That math test was never taken. Friends hugged for what would be a very long time…

Fast forward over two months.

Zoom, a program we had never heard of before March 12, is our standard format of communication that we use multiple times a week. Our lockers have been cleaned out and we picked up all of our stuff in bags with our names on them. We get what feels like a hundred announcement emails from Google Classroom, and we email as often as we text. Even our grading system is completely different.

Our school year is over. We’re not going to get any of it back: our sports seasons, our field trips, the traditional seniors’ awards night or graduation or prom.

But now we all wonder: what is school going to look like when we actually go back?

Governors have discussed students going into school every other day, cutting out electives, integrating certain elements of remote and distance learning into the first half of the year. Some graduating seniors will even be conducting their first college semesters from home.

Will our desks all be six feet apart? Do we even have space for that in the Brewster High School classrooms? Maybe we’ll have to wear masks to school for the first few weeks. Or months. Where will we be allowed to eat lunch? What will gym look like? Will we be permitted to sing in a choir?

We thought it was crazy when we found the bathroom doors left open so that we didn’t have to touch the door handles. Now we don’t know when we’ll even be allowed into the building again.

We don’t know how the world will recover from this, let alone the Brewster Central School District. Some of us continue to watch Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings, hoping to catch some clue as to what we can expect in September. So, we wear masks and gloves and we miss our friends and we wait. We wait for the president, the governors, the mayors, the county executives, the superintendents. Hopefully, by the end of the summer we will have answers, but for now, we don’t even know all of the questions.

Only time will tell how differently our school days will look from the day we left on March 12, 2020. Stay strong, Brewster, because we will eventually find our new normal and adjust to it. We’ll probably be one of the last states to reopen, but we’ll be okay. New York is a strong state, and Brewster is a strong district. Who knew we could ever miss school so much?

Go Bears!