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Students and Admin Meet for Clarification on What Lies Ahead

--By Lauren Elmer

At 1 pm on March 31st, I joined a Zoom call with many WPHS seniors, Superintendent Ricca, and Principal Doherty. It was both refreshing and reassuring to see so many familiar faces during a time of such uncertainty.

The first question came from senior class co-president Anastasia Meininger. She asked the question on everyone’s mind, “Should we still be planning for senior prom in May?” Both Dr. Ricca and Principal Doherty expressed that it is still a waiting game in determining whether prom plans can continue on its original schedule. Later on in the call, students were informed that prom could potentially be moved to a later date during the summer alongside graduation. We will hopefully have more specifics in the coming weeks as the situation further develops.

The next few questions were regarding exams. Regents exams still have a big question mark above them, as no plan has been released to schools. However, New York State has been advised by local school districts to decide what capacity Regents exams would be able to be distributed in individual communities. College Board has announced that AP exams will be taken at home in 45-minute long essay questions. More information about testing dates and specifics will be released by the college board this Friday, April 3rd. It was also emphasized to students that we should not stress ourselves too much about these exams right now. It is far more important to focus on your own health and the health of your loved one’s in an unprecedented pandemic.

With regards to third quarter grades, there is still no set system being put in place. Dr. Ricca said that there will be many discussions surrounding this topic in the coming days, so that is also a waiting game right now.

The main focus for students is being able to complete all online work at home and having the adequate resources to do so. As of right now, Principal Doherty says that over 200 iPads have been distributed to students in order to complete work at home. If you or someone you know is still in need of an iPad, please contact an administrator, guidance counselor, or Principal Doherty herself. This also applies to food distribution from the school. If you are seeking food supplies or support, please contact one of these people. There are also outside organizations distributing food with no questions asked.

Caleb Gillen highlighted the Ridgeway Alliance Church and the outstanding job being done there. Located at 465 Ridgeway, the food pantry is open from 10 am-2 pm on Monday and Wednesday, and 4-6pm on Tuesday. There is flexibility in their hours and anyone who may have any questions can call (914) 949-3714.

Overall, the next few weeks will be crucial in determining what the answers will be for many of our posed questions. Dr. Ricca did gently remind everyone to stay off of school tracks and fields and also emphasized that the whole point of us not being in school is to try and slow the spread of COVID-19. Please be responsible and do not come into close contact with anyone outside of your household. Also, please take a moment and recognize the essential workers and healthcare employees who are not able to shelter in place and are putting their health on the line for ours. Understand that our staying at home is only going to help the people on the front lines who have no choice. We can all do our part by being alone until this all clears up.

Please stay safe out there and be kind to one another.

If any student would like to submit an opinion piece or journal entry regarding our current situation, please contact

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