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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    COVID-19 causes Gonzaga to make multiple changes in both scheduling and class structure


    By Malik Lansdown—

    On April 16, Headmaster Mr. Tom Every announced to parents and students that students and staff would not be returning to Gonzaga’s campus for the end of the 2020 spring semester. Which has led to changes in how the school will proceed moving forward.

    “In light of the Mayor’s recent extension of the stay-at-home order, it has become clear that mitigation efforts will not be suspended in time for Gonzaga students to return to campus this academic year,” Headmaster Tom Every stated in a letter to parents and students. “Likewise, all in-person athletic, extracurricular activities, and events are cancelled or postponed until further notice.”

    In the following days Reverend Stephen Planning addressed seniors on future plans for how and when graduation will take place.

    “Some of you have written asking for clarity on when we intend to hold graduation. The reality is that this is a particularly difficult question to answer because so much of the situation is out of our hands.” Stated Planning “However, given the unpredictable nature of the virus and the serious risks that accompany it, it is my decision—in consultation with the faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees—to postpone our graduation ceremony to the fall. Two options that we are considering are the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, or, if that cannot work because of issues related to the virus, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.”

    This answer still leaves some questions open as the situation is ever changing.

    “I am definitely concerned about our graduation,” said senior James Lau. “I hope we can eventually have a proper ceremony.”

    Architectural shoot with Coakley Williams Construction.

    The closing of campus has forced Gonzaga to adopt an online learning protocol, that of which will continue for the remainder of the school year. The first two weeks consisted of a schedule very similar to that of the one used normally, with eight periods a day, and this received a mixed response from students.

    “The workload varies a ton,” said senior Dan Iannarone during the initial online protocol. “Some days there’s very little to do, and on others you get big assignments from everyone at once.”

    Workload inconsistency was a common complaint that came up in conversations.

    “While overall the work seems to be less, it’s very inconsistent, and the workday varies a ton,” said Max Thiessen, senior.

    This was likely the result of assignments being next to impossible to coordinate between teachers given the circumstances, and the administration seems to have recognized that, as well, as the school has adopted a block schedule for the remainder of the school year. So far, it seems to be having its intended effect.

    “I’m a fan of the new block schedule especially because the workload decreased,” Lau said.

    Others appreciate the increase in focus and the teacher’s ability to adjust to the new schedule.

    “You can get more work done and it is easier to prioritize things,” said junior Sean Kilcullen. “It sometimes can be hard to focus the whole hour and 20 [minutes], but teachers are doing a good job of not teaching the whole time and splitting activities up. No homework after school helps, too.”

    With it being confirmed that students and staff will not be returning to class for the rest of the year, it appears that this is the new normal for the Eye Street community.

    This story was backdated and posted on May 20, 2020.

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