Pius X and Lincoln Catholic school administrators announced the decision to close the school during the week of March 16-March 22 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The decision came shortly after Lincoln Public Schools decided to cancel school, extending their spring break.
Classes have been moved online, and teachers have been briefed on how to move instructions onto PowerSchool Learning.
In addition to school being closed, all rehearsals, practices, performances and extra-curricular activities have been suspended.
This has had a negative effect on students, particularly the seniors.
“The fact that another week off could cause the cancellation of spring sports is especially heartbreaking for us seniors,” senior Joel Marmie said.
Many seniors fear that they are missing out on the opportunity to close out the last quarter of their senior year in a typical fashion.
“The whole idea of senior year coming to a close or being lessened kind of breaks my heart in the thought of losing all the memories, like prom, classes, activities and the musical,” senior Aaron Vrbka said.
The concept of moving coursework online has incurred both positive and negative reactions.
“I think that having school online might cause problems with cheating and sending answers,” sophomore Kacey Johnson said.
For others, the opportunity to try out online classes is appealing.
“I’m honestly really excited to try out these online classes,” senior Kaitlin Kadavy said. “I have the ability to work at my own pace within reason and I can get more work outside of school done as well.”
Most agree that the school’s closure is necessary, but some say it was not needed.
“The world will carry on,” senior Reicher Martinez said. “Only those with compromised health have died from this. We’re fine; there’s no reason we can’t be in school.”
Other students, like senior Christopher Sullivan-Diaz, describe the closure as “essential yet detrimental.”
Sophomore Jeffery Calhoun agrees.
“I’m disappointed, but I think it’s the right call for the health of everyone,” Calhoun said.
Despite personal opinion, most people agree that this situation is unprecedented.
Government teacher Tom Seib has been an educator for over 40 years, and he describes this as “a very unique experience.”
“This is the only time in my memory school has ever been cancelled for a pandemic virus that is affecting the entire world,” Seib said. “The amount and severity of anxiety that this virus has produced is mind-boggling. There have been other world-wide viruses before like the Swine Flu, Ebola and SARS, but none of them produced this much fear and reaction across the country.”
Some students and staff believe the media has contributed to the hysteria around the virus, influencing the school’s decision to close.
“I personally believe some of it is a case of overreaction, and has something to do with the mass media and social media overblowing the situation and we may very well find a few months from now that we could have handled it differently, but that is easy to say now when things are so scary,” Seib said.
Martinez agrees with Seib. He said there is “too much hype” around the virus.
People are anxious for this issue to be resolved.
“I understand that we need to avoid contact with large groups of people in social situations,” Seib said. “I just hope that the time frame will be relatively short.”