The days where Marian girls used to squeeze an entire homeroom into one row of bleachers at Mass and eat elbow to elbow during lunch seem like ages ago. Sweaty Welcome Dance parties and 180-girl Field Day huddles are a distant memory. We’ve officially begun the “new normal,” and with it, we’re entering the “new Marian.”
The “new Marian” is socially distanced, disinfected and masked. You won’t be seeing below the eyes of a single face from the time you walk through the doors of Marian until you get into your car at the end of the day. What you will see, however, is “hand sanitizer in each classroom, disinfectant wipes in each classroom, hourly cleaning of our restrooms by custodial staff, and directional signage for traffic flow,” according to Principal Susie Sullivan’s emailed message to the Marian community on July 15.
In fact, most everyday Marian procedures will look different this year. “We will not have all school masses together. Mass will be said from our new chapel and students will watch it together. We will not offer the Eucharist, at least in the first semester,” Sullivan said.
A big adjustment for Marian girls will be finding new ways and places in which to start their mornings. “Unfortunately, students will not be able to congregate in the hallways in the morning. Students will be able to congregate in the cafeteria, quad, west gym, Haddix, and Student Services. There will be a limit on the numbers of students in each area. Once those spaces are filled, students will go to their first block class,” Sullivan said.
Students and staff will follow new rules and receive points for breaking them. Removing your mask will immediately result in points, and social distancing will be strongly enforced at all times.
Although Marian’s “new normal” is a positive situation that protects its students and staff, it does come with a few losses. Student Board’s annual Welcome Dance has been cancelled along with curriculum night, and future events will be decided on as we move closer to them.