What happens outside the classroom is just as important as inside

From the desk of Editorial Board

Melina Nicou, Opinions and Editorials Editor

Extracurriculars have provided a means for students to decompress, socialize, and learn from their peers in the past. With the current state of the pandemic, many activities have changed on a large scale. While sports were thought to be starting this winter, other activities, such as clubs and the music programs, have been put on hold or have begun to use online platforms to meet.

The team environment that sports provide for students has drastically shifted. The Courant believes that sports are a positive way for students to release their energy and stress in a productive way, as it allows them to establish bonds and create strong friendships with their peers. The Courant anticipates that students might struggle focusing in classes without an outlet to release their energy and stress, like school sports. Additionally, The Courant believes that student-athletes will struggle to establish connections with their team because of an abbreviated season. Therefore, The Courant feels that it would be beneficial for sports teams to meet online to get to know their teammates prior to the start of the season. 

The music programs are an integral part of the high school experience. The band, chorus and orchestra ensembles have attracted many students and provided them with the opportunity to pursue their passions. However, many music classes and groups this year have shifted from in-person instruction to online meetings. The Courant feels that this change has reduced the oftentimes energetic and exciting music rehearsals, to online lessons that simply pale in comparison. The Courant also believes that senior musicians, in particular, have been impacted by these changes because they will not be able to perform in annual music festivals such as the Pops Concert, the Newsday festival and the football halftime shows. The Courant feels that the many music ensembles could benefit from socially distanced in-person rehearsals in small groups. 

Clubs have also been a significant part of high school, especially for underclassmen. Many clubs such as the Peer Leadership club and Athletes Helping Athletes typically help guide students through their first year of high school. These clubs are significant because they allow younger students to look to older students who they can relate to for advice. Freshmen may feel confused and not know who to ask questions to. The Courant feels that these clubs should begin to meet using online platforms so that younger students can still have approachable mentors. Using online platforms for other clubs has started to pose a problem for many students. Many students have other obligations such as jobs that prohibit them from attending online meetings that begin at atypical times. The Courant thinks that it would be more practical for clubs to meet on some mornings and various different days to accommodate for these schedules. 

The Courant feels that given these challenging and unprecedented times, students can benefit from more accessibility to extracurricular activities despite the current pandemic restrictions. 🔳