BY ARIELLE KRAUS
When students across the state of Florida walked into school on Friday, March 13, they did not realize it would be their last day of school. They walked off-campus without knowing they would not be returning or that the rest of the school year would be online.
Governor Ron DeSantis officially announced on Saturday, April 18 that Florida schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year due to the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.
“It’s obviously not the ideal situation, but given where we are in the school year, it seemed the best decision to go forward,” DeSantis said.
“I think the whole situation has been so surreal that hearing we’re not even going back for the school year isn’t all that surprising.”
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Robert Runcie tweeted that he agrees with DeSantis’ decision because the main priority is to keep students and staff safe. An official statement regarding the closure of BCPS has not been made, as of yet.
CCHS students will now have to complete the remainder of the school year virtually. This announcement did not come as a surprise to CCHS students and faculty, as many expected this would be the outcome for the 2019-2020 school year.
“I think the whole situation has been so surreal that hearing we’re not even going back for the school year isn’t all that surprising,” junior Karen Suros said. “I’m disappointed I won’t be able to end my junior year the way I had in mind, but it’s for the best if it’ll help keep everyone safe. It is crazy to think of the last day of school when we didn’t even realize it would be the last day.”
For CCHS seniors, the closure of schools marks the closure of their high school experience. Although many are sad that they will not finish their senior year the way they had planned, they understand the reasoning behind the decision and know it is for their safety.
“I think it was a smart idea for the governor to close schools for the rest of the year because it helps people social distance and allows people to stay healthy,” senior Ethan Silverman said. “Yes, it does suck because we won’t be able to finish the rest of our high school years with our best friends, but we will be healthy for when this is all over to hang out.”
“We will all do what we can to make the best of it—we are Team Cooper.”
Although the closure of schools is for the safety of everyone, CCHS students are still disappointed. The adjustment to online learning has not been easy, and some students miss the structure of actually attending school.
“I am really disappointed that school is closing for the rest of the year. I miss being with my friends every day and seeing my teachers,” freshman Nicole Nadler said. “I miss handwriting my assignments and working at a faster pace than we are with distance learning.”
Not only are students impacted by this change to distance learning, but so are the faculty and staff at CCHS. Teachers are no longer able to interact with their students face-to-face or watch them participate in all of the fourth quarter activities.
“I cannot speak for all teachers, but I miss the banter with students and I feel for students losing out on experiences,” science teacher Jacqueline Selan said. “When former students visit and reminisce [about] their favorite memories, they usually bring up things that have occurred in the second half of the year. With all of this being said, we will all do what we can to make the best of it—we are Team Cooper.”
Disclaimer: Ethan Silverman is enrolled in the Cooper City High School newspaper class.
Photo by The Lariat Photography