KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools are getting ready to welcome more than 1,400 incoming seniors in the class of 2021, including two who talked about how they're preparing to start this milestone year during these very unusual times.
The KCK Public Schools Board of Education announced last week that the start of the school year has been postponed until after Labor Day and at least the first nine weeks of class will be conducted remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It’s so sad, because my senior year supposed to go out with a bang, but I'm having to go out in Zoom class," Sumner Academy of Arts and Science senior Jaleon Brown said.
When Brown isn't hitting the books, she's on the debate stage — or at least she was until the pandemic changed daily life.
"Honestly, I'm glad I still get to do it," Brown said.
She recently competed in a national debate and forensics championship from her living room.
"Having no audience, I found out that my piece was two minutes shorter, because I'm usually having more emotion when I'm seeing other people and how they're reacting to my performance," Brown said.
It's that type of discovery Tylieea Wallace, a senior at F.L Schlagle High Sschool, hasn't experienced yet.
Wallace is a forward on the school's basketball team, which wrapped up its season last winter just before everything went virtual.
"Our basketball season is supposed to start in December, so hopefully that's enough time for them to get everything situated and figured out," Wallace said.
That's important for student-athletes seeking to play sports after they graduate.
"College coaches want to also see me during the season, my school ball season, on how I play and not only over the summer," Wallace said.
As many of the specifics are still getting worked out, both seniors shared some advice for their peers.
"Stay positive through whatever the outcome may be," Wallace said.
Brown added, "Think about the good things. Think that at least I still have to have classes, even if I don't have a graduation person. At least I'm still graduating, so that's just making sure to keep positive vibes and staying positive thinking about the good things about online learning and knowing that we're all staying safe," Brown said.
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