Saint Francis opens campus for fall workouts

by Ava Malae | October 5, 2020

Girls Water Polo back on campus. Photo by Mr. Pilwalski from @sfhsathletics on Instagram

Saint Francis recently reopened its campus to students for pre-season sports workouts. Student-athletes are placed in stable cohorts, required to maintain a six-foot social distance, and all participants must wear a face mask, in accordance with county health and safety procedures. They must also complete a health survey before arriving on campus, and present a specific QR code to be scanned in order to enter. Mr. Jason Curtis and Mrs. Katie Teekell said that the workouts are proceeding well so far and that it is great seeing people back on campus. Curtis remarked, “I think some of it is about the physical conditioning, but I honestly think a lot more of it is about being back with the community. I think that that’s really the biggest key that we saw over the summer and also now… our students being back together in community is really wonderful, and that does a lot for your health and well-being.”

Curtis and Teekell also commented that hosting on-campus sports workouts over the summer helped form safety procedures for the current fall workouts. “We were fortunate enough to be able to run a number of athletic cohorts over the summer as well, so we were able to develop really good systems and protocols for making sure that we could bring kids to campus safely,” said Teekell. “It’s just been really great to have students on campus again.”

Saint Francis educators and coaches have worked hard to provide these opportunities for students to connect with each other, prioritizing the students’ health and safety. “We’re looking at developing opportunities for students, and what has been great is that our educators are really committing a lot of their time,” Teekell said. “They’re working very hard to create a great academic experience for our students, but they’re also volunteering their time outside of the school day to come to campus to run some of these groups and these activities to be able to connect with students in a more personal way, and really to provide students with that opportunity to do this safely in a supervised environment.”

Although the rest of the fall semester will take place online, Saint Francis plans to open up the campus to allow other activities to take place in-person, such as academic support groups, spiritual development groups, and specific clubs, starting next week. Curtis stated that the school is “working with county guidelines as they continue to develop in order to facilitate [further reopening].” He commented further, “ultimately, we want to get as many Saint Francis activities back on campus as possible. That’s our goal, but we’ll do so safely and appropriately.”

These on-campus activities provide students with the opportunity to connect with each other in person, not just over a screen. They provide students with the social connection that they are missing during distance learning. “We want to make sure we’re providing those opportunities for them to be able to come to campus and connect with one another,” Teekell said, “in a way that you just can’t replicate over Zoom.”

Categories: News, Sports

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