Schooling Continues Despite Buildings Closing Due to COVID-19

The+CHS+hallways+are+mostly+empty+during+the+state-mandated+school+closure+due+to+COVID-19.+Mrs.+Stephanie+Bartels%2C+a+science+teacher%2C+said%2C+Being+in+the+school+building+is+also+very+different+as+there+are+no+lockers+opening+and+closing+and+no+conversations+going+on+in+the+hallways.

The CHS hallways are mostly empty during the state-mandated school closure due to COVID-19. Mrs. Stephanie Bartels, a science teacher, said, “Being in the school building is also very different as there are no lockers opening and closing and no conversations going on in the hallways.”

Shianne Berger

The past few weeks have been filled with uncertainty due to the coronavirus that made its way into the U.S. in late January. There have been many drastic changes and more to come.

On March 13, Governor Evers ordered the statewide closure of all K-12 schools as of March 19, due to COVID-19. The governor stated that schools could open again on April 6. Then on March 16, Governor Evers ordered schools to close as of March 17. Currently, the state is requiring all schools to “remain closed for instructional and extracurricular activities for the duration of the public health emergency or until a subsequent order lifts this specific restriction,” according to the “K-12 School Closure FAQs” posted at Evers.wi.org.

Junior Daniel Alkire said, “It’s nice to have the time off. I just wish it wasn’t because of a global pandemic.”

Because of the school buildings being closed to students, Chilton School District is allowing students to take home the Chromebooks they are given to use at school on a daily basis in order to work on enrichment activities assigned by teachers. These activities are being provided by teachers so that students can practice their academics while not physically attending school.

“Instead of going right away to a full online curriculum, we have some time to work out details and to build capacity for virtual learning for our school,” said CHS Principal Mr. Shawn Rude. “This is something we have never had to do before and were not totally prepared for. We know we want to do the best job we can to provide learning for all students.”

During the week of March 23, Chromebooks can be picked up during regularly scheduled office hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Before picking up Chromebooks, complete the request form at https://forms.gle/GgvbUFafpqk2ArWZ8.

“If we are going to be closed past April 6, first we are going to look for guidance from our state and national authorities in education,” Mr. Rude said. “Hopefully, they will provide some additional guidance if this shutdown lasts longer than April 6. In the meantime, we will continue to prepare and learn so that we are ready to provide the best learning for all Chilton students.”

In addition to distributing Chromebooks, the district is offering free meals to children under the age of 18 living within the district. Meals will be available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following locations: the Chilton Public Library parking lot, Chilton Elementary School and Brothertown on Harbor Road between Lake Shore Drive and Lake Winnebago. Each bagged meal includes food for that day’s lunch and the next morning’s breakfast.

“I want students to know that we as a staff and as a school are here for them — to support them as students and as individuals,” Mr. Rude said. “This is a big deal and you may not be able to handle it all yourself. We are here to help in any way we can. If students or parents need to contact staff, we are available. We know this is an uncertain time, but together we can all get through it. I also want students to know that when this is over and we get to see all of your faces back roaming the halls, it will be a great day for our school. I know I will appreciate those days just a little bit more after this.”

From the girls and boys state basketball tournaments all the way up to the NBA, many events within the community and around the U.S. have been cancelled or postponed. This includes all of CHS’s co-curricular activities: sports, clubs, etc.

According to The College Board, the organization that offers AP exams, they are looking into online testing at home. For more information, visit CollegeBoard.org.

COVID-19 is especially affecting high school seniors around the U.S. Senior year is known as “the year of lasts.” This pandemic is changing all of that.

Many seniors are worried that their last prom might get cancelled. Many seniors’ last sports season has been postponed. Many seniors are scared that their graduation might be postponed. The coronavirus limits the amount of time seniors have with their friends before venturing off to college.

“Honestly, I’m very upset with how it is affecting my senior year,” senior Emilee-Elizabeth Maney said. “Call me selfish, but there are many things I am and will be missing out on. And I’m angry. However, I know I’m not the only senior that feels this way. This is a mutual feeling across the country.”

The class of 2020 was born while the world was grieving about 9/11. Now, they will be graduating while the world is struggling through a pandemic.

The state has banned gatherings of more than 10 people. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is hoping that limiting the amount of people in a confined area will slow the spread of COVID-19 to a level that allows healthcare facilities to maintain quality care for their patients. The ban does not include gatherings outdoors. Go to DHS.Wisconsin.gov for more information.

Personal care businesses are closed. Restaurants have to follow strict guidelines. They may only open for pick up orders and drive thru orders. For more information, visit Evers.wi.org.