’I won’t have anymore memories’: Graduating senior on school closure

Published: Mar. 26, 2020 at 10:30 PM CDT
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MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - The news that classes will not resume as normal amid the coronavirus pandemic hit hard for most people, especially graduating seniors.

Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey and top state educational leaders announced there will be no more face-to-face instruction this academic year. Instead, classes will be held online until June 5 to prevent any spread of COVID-19.

“I’m really going to miss these last times I would’ve spent with these people," stated an emotional Sarah Arnsparger, a graduating senior at James Clemens High School in Madison. "It’s hard, you know?”

Possibly missing out on prom, graduation and those pivotal final moments with friends she’s grown up with is what hurts the most, she says.

“I wasn’t going to go to prom, but then I decided I was going to go and I had all of the outfits planned out. I was really, really excited," stated Arnsparger. "I was like, ‘Please, just wait until after prom to cancel school.’ But that didn’t happen.”

In the midst of many waves of emotion, she says she understands why the decision was made.

Since she has a compromised immune system, she recognizes the impacts of the disease would be tougher on her than most. For other students and staff in her shoes, “this was a good call,” she believes.

“I may look healthy, but I’m not," admitted Arnsparger.

Parents are also trying to navigate this new normal.

Ashley Laughter is a mother of two, a kindergartner and a 6th grader.

“Trying to coordinate conference calls, customer follow-ups and just helping the kids with school work or have a normal cadence of the day of how things will flow has been a struggle," said Laughter.

Questions surrounding the roll out of new curriculum should be directed to your child’s school.

WAFF 48 News reached out to several school systems for details on senior prom and graduation. Most did not have a definitive answer. However, some say they are still weighing options and may choose a smaller ceremony at the end of the academic year.

The new end date for the year is June 5.

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