As Atholton High students continue to sit around during these prolonged weeks of virtual learning and physical distancing, the Principal’s Advisory Committee and Mr. Motley are working hard to add some entertainment and life to the school year. From events such as the county-wide food drive to upcoming news on student activities, Atholton Raiders have plenty of buzz to be heard and spread for the next semester.

“To everyone in the school, stay tuned as PAC has some exciting things coming soon to hopefully make this online schooling process more enjoyable,” teased one of the Principal’s Advisory Committee presidents and Atholton Senior, Yara Ayache. “It will also hopefully make things easier for students and we’ll be exploring new venues and interact through the online platform.”

The county-wide food drive was primarily a way to help donate during the winter season, especially during such a severe situation as the pandemic. The food drive occurred between January 4 and January 13th from 8AM to 3PM, and each school in the county was invited to participate; the drive primarily accepted canned goods and non-perishables. Those who weren’t able to attend the food drive in person due to safety reasons were still able to donate and participate and created an Amazon wishlist, allowing those who wanted to give to give digitally and those who needed the food to receive right at their homes. The aforementioned food drive was also a method to incite competition among the various schools in the county. In total, Atholton donated 366 pounds of goods and won third place while Wilde Lake won overall, but there was also an incentive for Raider rivalry.

“The grade that wins with the highest count of items donated will also be receiving a class trophy or a plaque kind of thing to congratulate them on their win as well,” remarked Ayache, a fierce competitiveness to her words. The winner will be announced shortly.

Atholton students and teachers will also have the opportunity to attend virtual office hours with administration, beginning February 1, 2021. These office hours will be open from 11AM to 12PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and allow students and personnel the chance to interact not only with the school’s administration, but with Mr. Motley himself. The change from in-person learning to virtual learning has led to an unfortunate disconnect between the office staff and students during the initial parts of the school year, but with the opening of these office hours, this will hopefully improve. In addition to office hours, the administration is hoping to get student interaction with the upcoming SMOB election.

“We will be sending out a survey to students to complete regarding the selection of the next Student Member of the Board,” explained Atholton High Principal, Mr. Robert Motley, in hopes of inciting student engagement among the Atholton community. “This has been a big issue lately with lack of student involvement.”

Yara Ayache also teased about an upcoming online assembly that’s currently being put together by committee members as well as tutoring throughout the school gradually being improved. While both of these actions are still in the planning stages, students can expect more help with academic difficulties in this upcoming semester, alongside some more fun events, like the online assembly. With the tutoring, honors societies throughout the school have been requested to band together and provide assistance to students currently struggling with their grades. Alongside with the first semester coming to an end, this year has left a lot of students feeling panicked about their scores due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, however those at Atholton will always support their fellow Raiders.

As for the online assembly, while there have been concerns due to the virtual assembly aspect being limited to a potential Google Meet maximum, the Principal’s Advisory Committee is hard at work to find their way around this obstacle. Mentions of various activities that will involve student and staff interaction and engagement such as slam poetry and spirit weeks must no doubt be kept in mind as excitement for the rest of the 2020-2021 year dramatically increases.

“We’re hoping to raise school spirit!” Ayache exclaimed. “The pandemic has unfortunately been rough on many people, but Raiders won’t be taken down that easily!” 

Posted by Jumi Animashaun

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