How East high is dealing with Covid-19: What you should know


Photo by Devon Beechley

The East cafeteria has put in new dividers for the safety of students.

Almost 8 months since March 13th, and the U.S is still in an ever long battle with Covid-19. In Lancaster county alone that is home to about 545,000 people, there are a total of 2,812. Adding to the anxiety and dread that this pandemic brings, the start of another school year is beginning again at East High, bringing with it more problems.
For LPS, it is required that campuses have safety measures to protect students and faculty. At East, sanitizing tables and using hand sanitizer before and after every class has now become normalized. East has even taken extra precautions, like opening 3 entrances to lower exposure and scattering students’ dismissal time so that the hallways are less crowded. However, it appears that the thing that Principal Cassata is most afraid of is students’ mental health. Many seniors like Kimberly Johnson, a senior this year, stating she’s “missing out” on school trips and group projects – aspects at school that make things fun and social.
Speaking with Principal Cassata really gives a third point of view of what the school is going through. Cassata has gotten several complaints from teachers saying that there isn’t enough time for grading papers anymore. It takes 3x longer to create lesson plans and teaching with visuals is very difficult over zoom. It’s ‘unsustainable,’ and will likely change more as time goes on. All of this stress is taking a toll on the administration.
“I can’t fix it for anybody. I can’t make COVID go away, I can’t make teaching any easier, and I can’t help the stress level of students,” Cassata said. “I have been principal of this high school for 13 years, and I’ve never had stress like this. It’s a different kind of stress.”
But every thorn bush will always have a few roses. And from Cassata’s point of view, the attitude of the students and staff are hopeful sights. But she was happy to see that all students are wearing masks when they need to, sanitizing and not complaining about the precautions that we have to take. She is proud to learn that kids are adapting and changing to our new environment.
“I think everyone is doing what they need to do to maintain school…” Cassata said.
“It’s important now, more than every, to care for each other and we care for our community. And we show that care by working hard, being kind and empathetic to others.”