The day school closed

July 12, 2022


Lily Beckett

Sidewalk graffiti in the time of COVID, part of a pandemic series by Friends photojournalism students.

Our English class was supposed to go on a field trip to get tea for lunch together, but Mr. McManus called everyone to an emergency Collection to explain what was going on. His explanation didn’t feel real. Afterward, our class gathered in the Middle School parking lot, debating whether or not we could still go and make it back in time for M-block. The consensus was no, but we decided we’d just go the next day, or at the latest, on the first day back from Spring Break.   – Charlotte Martin, 12th grade

After buying a poster board for the upcoming ECP fair, I walked into an ECP meeting for worship. Mr. Carlin was talking to someone. Then, he had us go outside instead of working on our posters. There was an eerie feeling. We knew there was a chance that school would be cancelled the next day, and we were excited that we’d get an extended Spring Break. But I was worried about having to stay out for a long time because of sports. We had a really good shot at winning the championship, and I was scared the season would be postponed and playoffs would be cancelled. I thought we would end up going back to school at the end of April, but that didn’t happen. Now, every time I go on campus, I think about how my poster is still sitting in Mr. Carlin’s office, blank.   – Sophie Rosenberg, 12th grade

I remember the last thing I was doing before they closed school. Everyone was in the library. It was the end of the day, and the bell had almost rung. I remember everyone was excited for Spring Break, and everyone was trying to figure out if we were going to be off of school that Friday too. Then it happened. Mr. McManus sent out an email to USAnnouncments saying we would be off of school on Friday, and the whole entire library started cheering and clapping.   – Zach Buchalter, 12th grade

I was in the library with my friends talking about if we were going to have school the next day and when we would come back. Then the news came to everyone’s email and it was the loudest I ever heard the library.   – Chase George, 12th grade

Everyone burst into yelling and screaming, and was going wild with happiness. One kid even started beating his chest. We were all happy to get off of school. I think now we kind of regret that day.   – Julian Marchetti, 12th grade

The moment it was announced, I was in Chemistry for extra help. I remember cheers and screaming coming from the hallway. When I found out why, I was genuinely scared. I had no idea how online school would work, and the fact that I barely understood math and chemistry in person, let alone on a buggy computer screen, frightened me.   – Jordan Brown, 11th grade

I was sitting outside the auditorium with some people when we got the email. We all started cheering and went to the playground to relax before going home. I invited my friends over to my house to get ice cream and watch TV. We were all planning how we thought the rest of the school year would be once we went back. We thought it would be over in two weeks.  – Julia Henslee, 11th grade

I remember grabbing my backpack and walking outside right as the email came out. There was yelling, laughing, hugging, nervousness, excitement. A whole range of emotions. Different grade levels were reacting in different ways. My sister, who was a Senior, was nervous for what was going to happen to her Senior year. However, we didn’t think it would get bad. At the time, all it was was an extra week of Spring Break, then we would be back in school. Or so we thought.   – Cate van den Beemt, 11th grade

“School’s canceled?” I said to someone in the Quad. “Yeah,” they answered. I could not believe it, so I opened my phone and I saw a notification that said school is canceled until April 2. “Let’s go!” I screamed. The first person I tried to find was Finn Peartree. I saw him walk out of the Science Math Building, and told him school was canceled. We celebrated together with other people like we were in a Ski Mask concert. Little did we know that we won’t be able to see each other for a long time.   – Krish Sharma, 11th grade

In Junior Hall with my friends that day, I was in full denial, sitting next to my boyfriend, watching TikToks together. As I held up my phone, the message lit up my screen: “We are off until April.” I read it in disbelief. Some people were excited, but everyone was mostly silent. As reality set in, we began saying our goodbyes. I made my way around my friends, hugging them and making plans for Spring Break that would eventually fall through. We cherished those last moments the best we could.   – Sophia Walper, 12th grade

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