Nurse, principal note Covid challenges, successes

Adjustments made during the school year ensured safety

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Nick Bozzell-Levine

School nurse Mrs. Marianne Vogt ’86 provided her perspective on the school year.

Ainsley Danilson, Reporter

Due to coronavirus, this school year presented difficulties to overcome for both students and staff. “It’s been challenging, but the school has done great,” said School Nurse Mrs. Marianne Vogt ’86. 

Adjustments both large and small added up to making the school safe enough for reopening last fall. “Things like the arrows in the hallways and even just figuring out the logistics were very important,” Vogt said. 

Vogt also noted that the school adapted throughout the year to do what was best for students and teachers. “After fall break, we had a rise in cases, so in the spring we decided to add a one-week quarantine period following spring break,” said Vogt. Other protocols included one-way hallways, kiosks to buy lunch at instead of the cafeteria, and of course, the ever-present masks. 

Space on campus helped the school to remain in person at full capacity. “Our classrooms are able to keep the six-feet distance between desks, which was extremely helpful,” said Vogt. 

Spacing in the school also allowed students to eat in classrooms rather than the cafeteria. “Many other schools had to be hybrid because of a lack of space, especially in the cafeteria,” said Vogt.

Even with the restrictions that coronavirus presented, students were able to participate in some of the activities they normally would. “We didn’t have to go hybrid, and we were still able to give our seniors a safe prom,” said Vogt.

She added that the administration has not decided which Covid-related practices will need to continue to be in place. “Those protocols will probably adapt as we hear new guidelines from the Department of Health,” said Vogt.

There were many changes throughout the school year. “Overall, students and teachers adapted to these changes very well,” said Principal Mrs. Julie Barthel, who noted that in order to ensure the safety of students, administration followed a safety plan.

Some adjustments were added to this plan throughout the year. “During the fall, shortly into the school year, we made the decision to add Mission Mondays,” said Barthel. Mission Mondays were implemented to allow an extra day of cleaning.

There was also the time at the end of November through Christmas break when Marion County required all schools in the county to switch to virtual learning. “Teachers continued to instruct students as they would in the classroom,” Barthel said. 

Extracurricular activities took place this past year, despite having to be canceled in the spring of 2020. “Sports, show choir, band, theater and overnight retreats were able to happen,” said Barthel.

In the 2020-2021 school year there were many accomplishments, such as National speech qualifiers, a football State championship and many others. “Overall, I’m just really proud of the perseverance and attitude of the teachers and students,” said Barthel.

At the end of the year, the administration sent out a survey, through Independent School Management, and the survey results showed positive numbers. Barthel said, “I’m just unbelievably proud that even through a pandemic, our students and parents were very happy with and proud of Cathedral.”