Students at Buena Park High School face drastic changes because of school closures. (Image courtesy of Nichola Soleta)
Buena Park High School

How Buena Park High School is responding to school closures

On July 17, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that schools could reopen for in-person instruction if the county they are located in has been off the California watch list for more than 14 days.

Located in Orange County, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District had planned to impose a hybrid-learning model where there would be two cohorts of students — A and B — who would go to school on different days. However, these plans were cut short when it was reported that Orange County had been on the state watch list since June.

Since then, FJUHSD has been forced to start the year with a distance-learning model. Buena Park High School is one of the schools in FJUHSD who has had to comply with these plans.

Jessica Labrador, Buena Park High School Associated Student Body President, commented on how distance learning will affect ASB activities.

“School closures have definitely limited ASB’s ability to host activities and events. The events we typically host involve many groups of people and constant time on campus, and we can’t do any of that with schools closing down,” Labrador said. “However, we’ve done our best to adapt and have taken to social media to host virtual spirit activities. It’s been a challenge, and school closures have limited us severely, but we are doing what we can with what we have.”

Not only has school closures affected ASB activities, but it has also impacted many sports teams. Ashley Franco, Buena Park High School cheerleader, shared how cheerleading has changed.

“[School closures have] affected cheer and future cheer activities because our tryouts had to get canceled, along with practices, cheer camp, cheer uniforms. Overall, it delayed us a lot. We also couldn’t have summer practices. So, that means we didn’t learn anything — no cheers, no stunts,” Franco added.

Buena Park High School clubs have also felt the impact of school closures.

Club Rush is a two-day event where clubs set up booths and encourage students to sign up for their respective clubs. Because Club Rush cannot be on campus this year, Buena Park High School ASB has been planning a modified Club Rush, so that clubs can recruit new members and students can discover clubs to join.

“[The ASB Interclub Committee] will begin planning a modified Club Rush throughout August, but we don’t have a solidified plan just yet. Because we cannot have it on campus, we will utilize mostly social media to help clubs promote themselves and give information out as a sort of channel between clubs and the student body,” Labrador said.

Anh Nguyen, National Honor Society Club President, shared how NHS has been affected by the school closure.

“For National Honor Society, school closures have created circumstances that limit us from having in-person activities such as club meetings, our traditional initiation ceremony and community service projects,” Anh said. “Although it is unfortunate that we can no longer do many activities in person when we are able to go back to school on a hybrid system, we hope to carry out more community projects together.”

Labrador shared advice for all high schoolers during these unconventional times.

“Practice self-discipline and holding yourself accountable. Sometimes this means doing things for yourself, on your own; other times this means seeking help from others and asking questions when you need to,” Labrador said.