Students returned to school at St. Patrick Catholic High School today with visible reminders of the new normal kids will experience while attending classes.
New safety measures are visible as soon as you walk through the doors of St. Patrick Catholic High School, but they haven’t stopped anyone from expressing their excitement over the new school year. Student Body President Dale Edwardson said, “I was antsy to get back and I was really curious to see how everything was going to work out. So, yeah, I was very excited.”
Senior Gabriella Persing said, “I think we’re all just so happy to be back that whatever we need to do to be here. We’re so much more than willing to do.”
As part of the school’s ‘SP Shield’ plan, there are hand sanitizer stations at each classroom and limits on bathroom capacity. Students also will have lunch delivered to them and eat in classrooms.
One of the biggest changes for the school year is that students now walk to class in one direction, instead of two. School leaders are making sure students can continue their faith development during this time through a modified weekly mass. Principal Dr. Matt Buckley said, “We’ll have a priest celebrate mass in the chapel here on campus. We will live stream that to each classroom and then we’ll have communion brought to each classroom so that all of our students can participate in the Holy Sacrament.”
Following days of preparation, St. Patrick teachers say the first day back was a smooth experience. Technology Foundations Teacher Vickie Gryder said, “We were able to go into the classroom, know what was expected, and make sure that the kids understand the expectations as the year goes through.”
With an unprecedented journey ahead, the Fighting Irish are focusing on becoming closer as a student body from a safe distance. “You’re so much more excited to see the people you maybe weren’t as close to before and so everyone becomes kind of closer because you’re all having to deal with the same thing.”