Creativity and COVID make comeback

By Huiling Zhang, Staff Intern

The Literary Fair, one of the biggest events for the English Department, ran until the end of January, students from any grade submitting prose and poetry (following fair guidelines) to teacher Paula Rodriguez. 

“We really want to promote creativity, expression, and poetry to all grades and all students,” said Andrew Shipe, chair of the English department.

After the deadline, English teachers will read over the pieces and judge them. First place winners are eligible to then move on to the Broward county literary fair. 

Meanwhile, omicron cases have been on the rise ever since students and staff have been on winter break and vacation. Shipe says student absences are more frequent now compared to the school year so far, because of the spike in cases. 

The most apparent effect the pandemic has had on students are the difficulties of having them “present and aware,” Shipe said. While students were in online school for over an entire school year, habits and developed they should have gained have been stagnant. 

“We haven’t noticed the growth we had hoped … in being a student,” Shipe said. “In general, the ninth graders seem like seventh graders, the seniors seem like 10th graders. They haven’t come around to the in-person learning process yet.”

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