High school seniors look to uncertain future after closures

Oregon schools will remain closed until April 28.

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 7:11 PM
Updated: Sep 1, 2020 1:45 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- After Gov. Kate Brown made the decision Tuesday to extend school closures until April 28, high school seniors are expressing how they feel about their senior year coming to a quick close.

RELATED: GOV. BROWN ORDERS SCHOOLS CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 28

Kenady Leighton is a senior at Sheldon High School. She said that the closure was a major shock to her and those around her, but she’s doing her best to remain positive.

“I think it’s the best for being safe and staying safe,” Leighton said. “Even though it's frustrating a lot of things are cancelled, I think it’s best for all of us.”

Leighton runs track for Sheldon and plays club soccer for Portland Thorns FC. She said it was disappointing to know that her track season has been shortened drastically. Wednesday would have been her first track meet of the season.

“This is my fourth year doing it, so this year is definitely just a little bit different,” Leighton said. “We’ve been trying to do stuff on our own and trying to stay motivated for hopefully the end of our track season.”

Many high school seniors have plans to take placement tests that could allow for exemptions out of prerequisite college courses. With the closures, they said study sessions have been canceled.

"I feel like I kind of have to make the most of it on my own,” Sheldon senior Morgan Thomas said. “I have most of the material. I just have to make the most of it at home with my own things.”

Students said they would like to know more information about if online classes will become an option or what type of supplemental material they will be receiving. This is something the Eugene School District 4J is currently discussing.

"It is a little concerning and frustrating that I feel like I'm not going to be the most prepared I can be stepping into college now,” Thomas said.

The cancellation of events, such as prom, is also a concern for students.

“We may not have our prom,” Thomas said. “Our prom was supposed to be before April 28, so I don't think that’s possible for us to have it and that date is getting kind of close to when we are supposed to walk.”

“It’s just a lot of those landmarks in life that you look forward to your senior year that hopefully we’ll still be able to do,” Leighton said.

4J spokesperson Kerry Delf said additional planning is being made and will be sent out to families in the coming weeks.

“Many families may be looking to online resources for educational support that may be available and the district will be providing more information about curated chosen supports that are available for families," Delf said.

4J streamed their school board meeting online, and you can listen to it here.

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