On Friday, April 17, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that all Iowa schools were to not reopen for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Atlantic High School began its break due to COVID-19 on Monday, March 16. Two weeks later, optional learning began for students in the district.
Due to the uncertain outcome of the COVID-19 break, we halted production on stories at the beginning of the hiatus. Our staff was unsure if we were to return to school, as well as what online school entailed for our program. We put out one story before optional learning kicked off. From there, we sat tight until further instruction was given both at the local and state level.
When it became clear we would not be returning to school on the projected Monday, April 13 date, members of our staff met virtually on Zoom to discuss the next step. As we are all experiencing an unprecedented time, we felt we needed to document it and provide information to students, teachers, and community members. However, we scaled back our coverage. When school was in session, we were publishing three stories a day. During break, we have been putting out three stories a week: one article on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday.
Our consistent quarantine coverage began on Tuesday, April 7. In the following three weeks, we have put out nine stories with nine different writers. Topics covered range from reviews to updated information on school activities. As a staff, we have focused on writing something for everyone during this time. At the same time, we have looked to answer your questions on issues such as Prom and online classes.
Next week will be the final week of our three-story format. Beginning Monday, May 4, AHSneedle will be publishing five stories a week. This format will go on for nearly three weeks. We recommend you check the website daily for profiles, reviews, and school news updates.
Along with the final week of our three-story layout comes another change. Juniors Da’Jai Wesson and Molly McFadden will step into their leadership roles of Lead Editors of AHSneedle. Due to this unique situation, we are able to begin the transition to next year early, and I look forward to stepping back and watching these girls go to work.
We will be posting story links to our Facebook and Twitter accounts when stories are published.