Administrators review service hour requirements

Closure of facilities, cancellation of spring trip are factors


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Senior Aydan Alerding participated in last spring’s mission trip to South Carolina.

Sally Bradshaw, Reporter

It has been a tradition for students to complete a given number of hours serving the community via a wide variety of outreach, care and church organizations.

However, the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, and the closure of the school and so many other venues in the community has made performing community service all but impossible.

Administrators are reviewing adjustments in the service hour requirements that will be made.

As Administrator for Christian Service Mrs. Shannon Fox ‘08 wrote in an email, “We do know that an extension will be in place for the service hour requirement. Exactly what that is at this time has not been defined yet. The deadline will be extended into summer, a date has not been set.”

Fox noted that she has not seen anything like the virus outbreak “in my lifetime.”

Fox said that the administration began discussing possible school closures in early March. She said, “Our IT department and Mr. (Brian) Gross did an outstanding job making all the technology happen for everyone so student education was not put on hold. So that is the start of what Cathedral’s 2020-2021 theme of ‘Excellence’ will look like.”

Fox’s main concern is not for service requirements, however, but in the effect the school’s closure will have on students. Fox wrote, “We have such a diverse student population that I worry about the student that is at home without resources to food, heat, internet access, or worrying about a parent’s possible job loss.” She advised students and parents to stay informed using the school’s website, along with the school newspaper.

Freshman Anna Elpers has a different take on the service issue, because she was relying on the mission trip to South Carolina to fill her requirements for the entire school year. She said that the trip this spring would be her first, but then Fox emailed all those signed up to go to inform them that the trip had been canceled, reassuring them not to worry about how to get their hours.

Elpers wrote in an email, “Well, as soon as I heard there was a mission trip, I had already kind of  made up my mind about going. I thought it would be a great experience, plus it covered all the service hours.”

However, Elpers had no hours before the trip was called off, and wrote in an email, “If (the food pantries) don’t open up in time, then I really have no clue (how to complete the hours).”