By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier this week, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that Massachusetts school buildings would be closed for the remainder of the academic year, and while the news hasn’t come as a big surprise, many students are still disappointed about the events and experiences that they won’t get to enjoy.
Initially, schools were only supposed to be closed until May 4, with online distance learning in place until then. However, Baker announced that it wasn’t possible to re-open the schools while at the same time ensure student safety. Distance learning will continue through the end of the school year, which will be on June 22. Four North Attleborough students responded to an e-mailed set of questions on their reactions to the closure.
The closure and its impacts
Jason Montes, a senior at North Attleborough High School, said he was taken aback and upset to hear the news and that it felt unfair to the entire class. In particular, he was looking forward to the prom, senior cookout, and music department events.
“It being my last year to do those things, it’s a real bummer because I would’ve loved to say a proper thank you and goodbye to the students and staff,” he wrote in an e-mail.
Fellow senior Dan Nobrega said he hasn’t fully processed the news, and wonders if the outcome could had been different had the governor waited a little longer. He was also looking forward to the music department events as well as setting a new personal record in the spring track season.
“I’m sure it’ll be a bummer when the dates we were supposed to do activities come up, but at the very least I’m grateful that I’ve had the most amazing experience in my time at NAHS,” wrote Nobrega.
Dylan Desrosiers, a junior, said he wasn’t too surprised, given all the other cancellations and closings that have been announced. He said thar he feels bad for the seniors, who will be missing so many different events that normally happen in the final months of the school year.
“It’s especially sad that they might not get to say ‘goodbye’ or ‘until next time’ to each other,” wrote Desrosiers. “I just hope that people are taking this announcement seriously.”
Max Wirth is an eighth-grader at North Attleborough Middle School. This will be his last year at the school and while sad about the news, he realized it was something he couldn’t change. He’s a member of the school band, and said he’ll miss the performances, as well as eighth-grade graduation, Heritage Day, and other events.
“I felt like something had been taken away from me, but there was no one to blame,” he wrote. “I just kind of moved forward.”
Keeping in touch
In a time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, the regular gatherings have had to take a step back, replaced with phone conversations and video chats. Desrosiers is involved with a number of activities at NAHS, and said virtual meetings have been a good way to stay connected, along with texts and calls with friends. Wirth has also been staying in contact with his friends, as well as playing video games with them online.
Montes said he’s tried to talk with his friends every day to stay up-to-date on their lives. Nobrega said that staying in touch with his friends has been a huge help, particularly for his own well-being.
“I would heavily suggest if anyone is bored or if you miss that one friend you haven’t really talked to in a while that you do that, because they miss you and they absolutely would love to talk because we don’t have much else to do during this,” wrote Montes.