Everyday Life Has Changed in SPHS


Cydney Moore

School reopening is still a plan in progress.

Michael Hearty and Zach McGrath

The sudden appearance of the Covid-19 virus has caused day to day life as we know it to drastically change. Since March of 2020 students have been out of Severna Park High School. The students of Severna Park High School hold out hope that they will one day return to school; however, the future remains unpredictable.

It should come as no surprise that the creation of a new and safe school environment is a long and tedious process. According to local pediatrician Cindy Schaffer, “The kids’ desks would have to be six feet apart. In my opinion, in spite of the six feet apart, they should be masked the entire time unless they are eating. Hand washing and hand sanitizer stations would probably have to be at every desk … and they would have to have pretty rigorous requirements as to how well you have to be there.” Yet, some are hopeful the newly announced Pfizer vaccine will speed up the process and help create a safe environment for students and teachers.

And while the vaccine could indeed do this, it is unlikely Severna Park High School will return to normalcy in the next few months. “I don’t think they’ll be able to open until the fall, even with the vaccine,” suggests SPHS student Aiden Judge. Despite this being a popular opinion amongst students, peers still disagree as to whether vaccination should be a requirement.

Some, like Judge, believe vaccination should be a requirement before returning to school; others, however, have mixed feelings. Ethan Gaver, a student of SPHS, states, “No, they shouldn’t require it [a vaccine], but those who do refuse it should be required to take some extra precautionary measures, like continuing virtual learning themselves.” SPHS student Jordan Lewis shares an even more extreme view on the matter, “Only when the vaccine has been widely administered and proven to be safe and effective, should school’s even think about implementing a requirement.”

Required or not, sports are also likely to remain closed with a distributed vaccine. “It’s hard if you are playing a contact sport to stay six feet apart,” explains Schaeffer, “and yet American Academy of Pediatrics wants the kids out there because one, their physical health is going down as they decondition.” Sports could reappear before school, but this will not occur anytime soon.

Those who dislike the current situation, either for sports or school-related reasons, should not feel impuissant. The president of the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils, Conor Curran, has an outlet for those who want to speak out. He says, “Ways that students can go and voice their opinions about the current situation with reopening, and about sports matters, is directly through the board of education.” If one feels the need to do so, then attempt to reach out through public comments, one’s student voice, or Drake Smith ([email protected]).

Online schooling is the safest way of preventing Covid-19’s spread, but there are still many issues with online education. The future of the school is up for debate, but all signs point to a prolonged lockdown.

Public testimony will be taken on Dec. 21 for those interested in school start and end times.