CCSD cancels all extracurriculars due to COVID-19 concerns

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The Clark County School District indefinitely suspended all athletic events, extra-curricular activities, assemblies, practices and gatherings today, as their most recent action against the spread of COVID-19. Other events, such as graduation, are at risk of cancellation and will be “evaluated as we progress through the situation,” according to a district email sent out to staff and parents.

The decision, although made for the safety and health of students, was devastating news to seniors, who said they worry about missing out on the events that come with the last few months of senior year.
Senior Zoe McCracken, who has been in the theatre department for all four years of high school, said that the cancelation of after-school activities means that her main focus for the past few months, “The Laramie Project,” will be jeopardized as well.

“We won’t be able to produce our first entirely student-run production,” McCracken said. “For me, I’ve been working on this show for the past two years. I’m hoping we can find some solution to where all of our work is able to be shown. We’ve already begun building the set and reaching out for donations and such. As a senior, yesterday was my last rehearsal in the Spring Valley theater, and I didn’t even know it.”
But the decision doesn’t just affect seniors. Some freshmen feel as though the canceling of sports has prematurely taken away their ability to have high school experiences.

“It’s just, me and my teammates have been working hard since even preseason,” freshman Yunus Schersei said. “We would show up to as many open gyms and volleyball practices as … each one of us could. The freshmen volleyball team were simply just appalled when we were told that our season was over before we even got started. … It stung that we won’t be able to play a single organized match this season, and our only experience would’ve been an unprofessional scrimmage with four other schools last Wednesday.”

The past 48 hours have shown the extent to which people will go to stop the spread of the virus, as events of all natures have been canceled. This included the postponing of national and international sports, as well as the closing of Disneyland and Disney World, the cancelation of March Madness and the postponement of Coachella. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency earlier tonight, and UNLV has announced that they will be transitioning to online classes on March 23.

Even with all the negativity circulating in the media, students continue to stay positive.
“We’re trying to keep our hopes up for our season to be reinstated, but things are looking tough, and it’s hard to keep them up,” Schersei said. “All we hope for now is to stick together, like the grizzly family we are, and persevere. After all, we freshmen made a goal to go to the top this year, and there’s no way us grizzlies are gonna stop. If we have to wait until next year, then so be it.”

As of today, 11 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Nevada. An email sent out through ParentLink by the district around 2 p.m. assured parents and staff that stopping the virus from reaching CCSD students is the district’s main priority. A contingency plan has not yet been announced.

“The Clark County School District (CCSD) continues evaluating and responding to the evolving nature of coronavirus (COVID-19),” the email said. “For the moment, there are no planned school closures. However, should the need arise, contingency plans have been developed and continue to be refined daily. The goal of CCSD is to remain open and educate our children to provide a sense of stability for our students, employees, and families.”
The decision to cancel events was made to avoid spreading the virus amongst the student body and faculty, but Clark County private schools are taking a more extreme approach. The Meadows School and The Alexander Dawson School announced today that they will be suspending classes for at least two weeks as another means of prevention from COVID-19.

“I feel like the district is only thinking about the students,” senior Nicole Rojas said. “And yes, they should, but there’s families where one child [with only] minimal symptoms can infect people at home. Students come into contact with so many people that aren’t related [to the school], and [the district] doesn’t know how to contain it. … People will just [make] it grow faster, and it’s not safe for anyone if I’m being honest. So yeah, maybe they should close down all the schools.”

Many parents and students said that they agree with Rojas about the dangers of COVID-19, but others still feel that the severity of the virus is being inappropriately exaggerated.

“This coronavirus phenomenon is overrated,” Spring Valley parent Regina Viterna said. “The danger of coronavirus can be avoided by boosting one’s immune system. However, the precautions of the schools and the public may be extreme, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when someone will be infected.”

This story is ongoing. For future updates, check www.thegrizzlygrowler.org, as well as our Instagram, @the_grizzly_growler, and Twitter, @svgrizzlygrowler.