Editorial: If we want to stay on campus, it’s up to us

Wearing+a+mask+--+and+wearing+it+correctly+--+is+just+one+of+the+ways+we+can+make+sure+to+do+what+we+need+to+do+to+remain+on+campus+for+our+classes.+

Nick Saba

Wearing a mask — and wearing it correctly — is just one of the ways we can make sure to do what we need to do to remain on campus for our classes.

Megaphone Staff

We’re still in school, other than on Mission Mondays, so let’s do everything we can to make sure that this continues to be the case. 

Everybody remembers that day a few months ago when schools were first shutting down due to the coronavirus, and eventually theirs was inevitably next. By the end of the school year, most every school was operating virtually, or not at all. 

Fast forward to the summer, when quarantine was still in effect, but society was largely loosening social distancing restraints, whether unknowingly or not. Most went into the school year with the hope that whether hybrid or full time, the 2020-2021 school year would be spent with actual student and teacher interaction. 

After only two full months in, many schools around Central Indiana and the United States have closed down after unsuccessful attempts to reopen its doors to schooling, with restraints as has become the norm. 

So the question for many becomes this — is it simply a matter of time before Cathedral returns to online schooling as well? We surely hope not. 

For staff and students, the news of our school returning full time on campus, with the option for any with any reason to be involved from home, was joyous news after the tough struggle that has been the quarantine. While many schools were going to a hybrid schedule, with others adapting to full time online schooling, we shocked many by announcing school would be in-person, and not only that, but one of the safest and best prepared schools in Indiana. 

Despite contact tracing, 24/7 mask wearing on campus, hand sanitizer everywhere the eye can see, many have come in contact with the coronavirus through means such as in the classroom, on the athletic field or off campus. The inevitable has come, and since Cathedral has not shut down already, another question to ask is that if Cathedral has had cases already and survived the storm, what would be reason to shut it down now?

The addition of Mission Mondays, an online, full schedule day every Monday to start the school week, appeared as a sign of the closing down of Cathedral. Yet here we are, weeks later, and Mission Mondays have not been followed by an increased hybrid schedule, but rather proven to be a helpful aspect of the week. Not only have Mission Mondays allowed for more time for cleaning agents and such to take their toll on the coronavirus, but they have proven to give students and staff alike a slower paced way to gradually work into the week, which is greatly appreciated.

Since many of the signs that would signal a shutdown have not led to one yet, it becomes a matter of what is keeping us in school rather than what is pushing us out. For many, school, regardless of location, size or time length, is a place far beyond academic learning. It can be a venue for social interaction, safety, discipline growth and much more. The risks for contracting coronavirus are dangerous, but the impact that places of education have had on the youth of America will impact the nation long after Covid-19 has become an afterthought. 

Online learning simply is not the same as being in a classroom, and that does not even begin to describe the rest of the iceberg that is the school experience. Person to person interaction, hands on labs, assemblies, sporting events and more are all parts of being a part of a school that the everyday, monotonous feeling of going from Zoom class to Zoom class can not possibly replicate.

Aside from that, there is a whole new level of pride in the importance our school plays in the lives of those who interact with it regularly and even every now and then. The community and family that Cathedral forms in the life of each and every student and educator is played out on the field and in interactions on and off campus. 

While many other schools might have students who are indifferent on the loss of personal interaction and other attributes of online classes, the reason this school has stayed open is exactly the opposite. Just like last year’s seniors, who sadly saw the final year of their high school careers torn away from them, the current Cathedral community simply loves the experience too much to let it wash away.

Cathedral hopefully will be open for the rest of the year, but it could also be online in the next week; the matter of Cathedral getting shut down is quite simply a question that no one can truly answer. While there is still nobody that can predict exactly if or when this school will shut down, one thing is known — as long as the excellence of Cathedral continues to draw students and teachers to it, the school will continue to do its best to make sure its people get the most out of the experience they deserve.