Grade levels come together with community days

On the turf, seniors celebrate mass together on community day. Mass will be a part of each community day throughout the year.

This year, BSM is putting in extra effort to ensure the community stays strong despite these restricting times. Although this new reality is disappointing and makes it difficult for classes to bond, BSM is finding new alternatives to make the most of the situation through community days for each grade.

These community days were an opportunity for individual classes to get together on campus and participate in activities. Assistant principal Mr. Matt Weingartz was one of those involved in developing community days. He and others felt them necessary to meet the needs of students. “Over the course of the summer, as we developed what the school year would look like, we wanted to give students the opportunity to come together as a class. We currently have 7-9th graders on campus, and 10-12th in hybrid, with students choosing three different learning models currently. So giving an opportunity to be all together as a class was something that we wanted to plan during the school year,” Weingartz said in an email interview.

So far, there have been community days for the freshman and senior classes. The senior community day was on September 18 and included the homecoming coronation, activities on the turf, lunch, and mass. Senior Anna Medina enjoyed the opportunity to interact with classmates who she had not seen in months. “The senior community day was a day for the class of ’21 to finally be able to come together after many months of separation. There were many events such as the Homecoming Coronation to playing various games with friends to having mass together with [Mr. Mike Jeremiah]. Girls were able to show off the hard work that they put into their overalls. There were feathers and other decorations scattered all over the field!” Medina said in an email interview.

As expected, the community days were a great success and enjoyed by many. “Personally, I really enjoyed this community day. I was finally able to see people that are either in a different cohort or are only in online school. Also, how could you go wrong with getting Culver’s?” Medina said in an email interview.

Personally, I really enjoyed this community day. I was finally able to see people that are either in a different cohort or are only in online school. Also, how could you go wrong with getting Culver’s?

— Anna Medina

The freshman community day took place on October 5. “Activities and sessions included celebrating Mass together and time with Link Crew leaders in small groups. In the morning, the students heard from Dr. Jules Nolan, BSM school psychologist, about the skills 9th graders need to maintain a positive outlook in the midst of life’s challenges. Ms. Lisa Lenhart-Murphy (Director of Mission) presented the components of ‘respectful dialogue,’ a framework which was adopted by BSM last year. The afternoon sessions included Mr. Bill Cheney (Tech Help Desk) talking to students about cyber-safety, and Ms. Alex Wyss (Chemical Health Coordinator) talking to students about the dangers of vaping,” Weingartz said in an email interview.

There will be community days throughout the school year and eventually one for each class, but right now, the next one planned is on November 9 for seventh graders. “Each one will have time for students to get together, to celebrate Mass together, and also have specific activities that are designed just for that grade level. So each community day will look different based off of the class that is getting together that day,” Weingartz.

Weingartz and others appreciate the opportunity these community days provide for each class to be together all at once, especially since sophomores, juniors, and seniors are rarely, if ever, on campus all at once. “I wish that we could do them more often. In the two that we have had so far this year, they have been very positive experiences,” Weingartz said in an email interview.

Medina agreed and enjoyed the time spent with her whole class, even if it was only for one day. “I wish that we have more events or community days like these before the year ends. Because of COVID-19, this senior class has missed out on several memorable events, but we will have to cherish all of these small events that we are given,” Medina said in an email interview.