North Tonawanda High School BOCES Students Experiences Get Adapted to COVID Restrictions
As everyone knows the safety protocols in place during the COVID pandemic have seriously curtailed many of the activities that students engage in during a school year.
The Orleans/Niagara BOCES classes, at the North Tonawanda High School, are fortunate enough to have some highly talented teachers who are making sure that these restrictions aren’t impacting the students too severely. School counselor Holly Young says she and the rest of the staff have found some creative ways to adapt their programming to the regulations. “Our Job Coaching students are fortunate enough to have gotten placements with the North Tonawanda High School since they are not allowed to leave the property. The district has been gracious enough to allow them to work in the cafeteria, and bus garage. The students even deliver breakfast to our classrooms to minimize how much the classes are traveling in the building which makes it safer for everyone.” She adds that students, who typically go out in the community to volunteer with their classes, are now helping out with the High School’s recycling program so that they are still afforded those important experiences and skills.
Music teacher Molly King also wanted to make sure they were not denied an opportunity to take part in a play and bell choir concert they had all been looking forward to. “We filmed each student separately in a room alone and sanitized in-between to address the COVID concerns,” she explained. “Then I edited them all together into a movie. Their parents were then invited to watch over Google classroom.” The students’ premier of a Halloween play was a huge hit.
Also to try and make up for the 26 community trips they miss a year, the staff has done a great job coming up with socially distanced activities to keep things fun. “On Wednesdays we would come up with an activity they could share together,” says Ms. Young. “We took advantage of those beautiful fall days and played Connect Four on the school’s football field. We were also able to do a bowling tournament in the gym since we could not go to the bowling alley like we normally do. We are just trying to keep everything as positive as we can and make sure that they students are getting all those important experiences. I want to thank the staff for really rising to the occasion and making this the best school year we can under the circumstances.”