Students on Edge Awaiting Test Results 

Staff at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard process test samples in Cambridge, MA. Northwood uses Broad for most of the school’s testing program. (Courtesy Scott Sassone for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard)

A recent coronavirus outbreak at school has students on edge. They are eager to get yesterday’s allschool test results back this evening. Students hope the results will end the schoolwide quarantine, which began last Friday, after another all-school testing clinic revealed additional students and faculty were positive. To date, 21 students and two employees have tested positive since Sunday, May 25. 

Senior Rachel Hinkley says, “I think it’s especially nerveracking to find out these test results just for the fact girls hockey has been through this before and we know what happens and what it means if more people were to test positive,” noting the girls’ hockey team had an outbreak of COVID-19 over spring break. “We all want to have the best last few weeks of school,” Hinkley continued, especially the seniors who are about to graduate, and I think that’s what’s making most of us nervous: uncertainty about the details about prom, graduation, and all the events kids enjoy and want to experience. So, we’re all hoping these tests come back negative so we can go back to seeing our friends and continue in person classes.”  

“I definitely felt anxious after seeing how many cases we started to get,” said senior Jazzy ValenzuelaDuring the day I feel bored in my room, however outdoor time is rejuvenating from the fresh air and walks we take,” said Valenzuela. Right now, I am hopeful that we will be able to resume a normal school on Thursday. I continue to be hopeful that we will be able to have a graduation and prom, she said.  

Students are eager to learn about the test results later tonight and will be anxiously awaiting for a message from Mr. Spear or Mr. Maher. 

Colleges Plans Provide Clues for Life at Northwood Next Year 

Image: iStock/Getty Images

Will next year be more of the same or will school be back to a pre-pandemic normal? Northwood hasn’t shared its plan for next year, but many colleges have, and those plans may provide clues as to what Northwood will look like next year.  

As the college admission cycle ends this spring, college administrations are beginning to share their plans for next year. With the vaccination rate in the United States increasing rapidlydoes that mean a return to normal? As Northwood School followed colleges throughout the pandemic in terms of reopening plans, does this mean a return to normal for Northwood as well? 

US colleges are hoping for a return to normalcy by next fall and the COVID-19 vaccine is the centerpiece of many colleges’ plansA growing number of colleges, such as Rutgers, Brown, CornellNortheastern, and Duke are requiring students to be fully vaccinated before returning to in-person classes. Most colleges are allowing students to opt-out of the vaccine for medical or religious reasons.  

Students generally support the vaccine requirement. CNBC reports that “according to a recent survey of 1,000 college students by College Pulse, an overwhelming 71% of students believe colleges have the right to require students to get vaccinated before returning to campus. However, 19% say they do not support vaccination requirements and 10% say they are not sure.” As vaccines become widely available to all college-age students, it’s widely expected that more colleges and universities will require vaccinations. 

But not every school believed they can legally require students to get vaccinated. Some colleges wish to leave the decisionAt Virginia Tech, officials “determined that they can’t because the US Food and Drug Administration has only allowed the emergency use of the vaccines and hasn’t given vaccines its full approval.”  

Three COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use in the US, but only the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer is approved for people 16 and up. Approximately 20% of Northwood students are currently under 16For a secondary school like Northwood to require the COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA must approve a vaccine for people under 16. Clinical trials and well underway for people aged 12-15, but it is uncertain whether the vaccine will be approved for people aged 12 and up in time for Northwood’s youngest students to be vaccinated before the start of the 2021-22 school year. 

Whether and how vaccinations will figure into Northwood’s plan for next school year is still unclear. Mr. John Spear, Assistant Head for School Life, said the school will share more about its plan for next year “in the coming weeks.” 

Students Vaccinated at Northwood

Jordan Harris ’21 received the Pfizer vaccine at the clinic at Northwood School on Thursday, April 15.

Just nine days after New York State opened the vaccine to high school students ages 16 and 17 and only three days after school opened following spring break, Northwood School hosted a coronavirus vaccination clinic on Thursday, April 15 for students, faculty, Northwood families.

The clinic is believed to be the first school-based clinic for high school students in the North Country and maybe all of New York State.  The indoor turf field was temporarily transformed into a vaccine clinic thirteen months after the school sent students home at the start of the pandemic.

The clinic, operated in conjunction with Adirondack Health, vaccinated every student currently at Northwood who wanted and is eligible for the vaccine.  Thirty-one students and twenty-six community members were vaccinated.  

Not every student who wanted to be vaccinated could get the shot this week. Two athletic teams are away this week traveling for games. The school is currently making arrangements to bring the late-returning students to a state-run clinic that uses the Pfizer vaccine. The closest such clinic are in Plattsburgh or Potsdam. 

Students getting vaccinated at Northwood this spring will be fully vaccinated before graduation and summer break, which everyone agrees is a great start to helping life at school return to “pre-pandemic normal”.   

Assistant Head for School Life Mr. John Spear announced the clinic in a letter to the community on Tuesday morning: 

Pandemic Presents Challenges for Northwood Admissions Office 

The Husky greets new and returning students on opening day in September 2019. (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

A few weeks ago, the Northwood School admissions team sent out decisions to applicants to the school. In previous years, applicants and their families were strongly encouraged to visit during the application process and were invited back to campus for a revisit day before making their final decisions. The coronavirus pandemic has made it almost impossible to conduct the usual admissions programs without breaking the safety bubble of the students and staff. Admissions office staff told The Mirror that the pandemic did not seem to negatively affect the application pool or process at all. In fact, the pandemic may have made it stronger.  

The application pool was filled with many strong candidates for admission which made the admissions process highly selective and competitive this year. Jeff Miller, a senior member of the admissions team, said “The Northwood 2021-2022 applicant pool was one of the strongest in recent history, with the overall number of applications up 20 year over year.”  

Each year, Northwood becomes more well-known, driving up inquiries. The increased interest comes in part from the school’s social media platforms, word of mouth from current students and alumni, and our strong athletic teams. Miller went on to say, “The admissions committee saw a lot of depth in the applicant pool this year as well, with a high number of qualified candidates.” The deep pool of many strong candidates made admissions decisiondifficult, but it is an exciting time at Northwood 

After learning of the decision, admitted students and families were invited to a virtual revisit day. Miller said, “the admissions office is looking forward to hosting our virtual revisit days for accepted students and their families on Tuesday, March 23rd and Thursday March 25th. Normally students and families are invited to attend in person on campus shadowing a current student throughout their day. This gave students a better feel for the Northwood experience.  

Similar to all aspects of our lives since the pandemic struck a year ago, revisit days and other admissions events have gone virtual. Potential future Huskies will get to know Northwood through Zoom and Teams calls and virtual campus tours. We wish these prospective students the best of luck with this important decision and hope to see them on campus in the fall. 

Opinion: Women’s Month and the Problematic Circumstances That Follow 

Image: BBC

March 8th marks the day of International Women’s Day to celebrate all that women, both cis and trans, have accomplished. But not only does the 8th of March claim this glorious day, March itself is also titled Women’s History Month.  

With a growing society full of equality and acceptance, you would think that we have moved passed the barrier of women being seen as inferior to men. However, statistics show that Google searches for “International Men’s Day” spike on March 8th; The scary part is that it spikes every year on March 8th. In my own personal experience yesterday on March 8thI’ve seen a lot of sexist comments (more than I’ve seen any other year). I’ve seen ads for companies pop up that have a misogynistic approach, and men of all ages making unnecessary remarks about their counterpart’s sex.  

It’s scary to think that people act like this. It’s the gender equivalent to a spike of racist comments in Black History Month or asking why there isn’t a White History Month. Another take is an increase of homophobic comments in Pride Month and wanting to create a Straight Pride Month.  

The reason there isn’t a men’s month or white or straight is because those have always been considered the “societal norm. Women, POC, and LGBTQ people have had to fight for their right to even be remotely seen as equal. They fought and continue to fight for their rights. The Salem Witch Trials were not an attack on witches; it was an attack on women. Women who were financially independent, having more than one female friend, not having children, showing stubbornness, having a birthmark, being an elder, being left-handed, doing math and even for having a cat you were seen as a witch. There are many other ridiculous reasons a woman would be dubbed a witch. But the Salem Witch Trial wasn’t an attack on witches, it was an attack on women who could do what a man could do. A man wouldn’t be hung or burned for having a birthmark, would he? No, just a woman. Women to this day are discriminated against because of their gender for such small reasons. Examples are if you see a slow or remotely bad driver, crazy how people will say “it must be a woman”? Or how almost every insult that you can call someone is feminine or is a derogatory term for part of a woman’s body?  

The bias and discrimination against women aren’t limited to the United States. In India, a husband can rape his wife without consequences. In Russia, domestic violence is not seen as a crime. In Sudana girl as young as 10 can get married. In Iran, wives need permission from their husband to travel. In Jordan, women can be killed in the name of “honor” and the murderer will have little to no consequences. In Belarus, women cannot be truck drivers. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive. Still think we have it good? What about the tradition where if a woman doesn’t bleed on the honeymoon, it means she is not a virgin, and is then mocked and frowned upon or even divorced? Even though not all women bleed when lose their virginity 

The reason for an international women’s day is to celebrate how far we have come and generate the motivation to keep fighting. So, it’s absolutely disgusting that some men behave the way they do on this day, and throughout the month in the year 2021. Men have not had to fight for their own equality because they have always been seen as superior; therefore, they do not have a month dedicated to them. Whites have not ever been oppressed based on their skin color and did not have to fight their way to get rights, therefore they don’t have a month dedicated to them. Heterosexuals have never been frowned upon or sent to therapy for their sexuality, they have never been judged for what sex they were attracted to, so therefore there’s not a month dedicated to them. Sexism, homophobia, and racism are still somehow a part of society in 2021 and it is embarrassing 

So, on that note, happy Women’s History Month to all, and to all a good night. 

Some remarkable moments in women’s history: 

  • July 18th, 1848the first women’s rights convention.
  • January 23rd, 1849Elizabeth Blackwell is the first woman to graduate from medical school.
  • December 10th, 1869Wyoming passes the first Women’s suffrage law which allows women to vote and hold office.May 15th, 1869Susan B. Anthony founds the first Women’s Suffrage Association
  • October 16th, 1916Margret Sanger opens the first birth control clinic.
  • April 2nd, 1917Jeanette Rankin is the first woman to be elected in congress.
  • May 20th, 1962Amelia Earhart is the first woman, and the second person ever to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • December 1st, 1955Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man, which sparks the Civil Rights Movement.
  • June 10th, 1963President John F. Kennedy signs the first Equal Pay Act, which prohibits the sex-based wage gap when a man and a woman are working the same job in the same workplace.
  • June 30th, 1966Betty Friedan found the National Organization for Women.
  • June 23rd, 1972President Richard Nixon signs Title IX law, which allows anyone of any sex able to participate in activities without being denied or excluded from based on gender.
  • July 7th, 1981Sandra Day O’Conner is the first woman to be sworn into the supreme court.
  • July 18th, 1983Sally Ride becomes the first American woman on a space shuttle to outer space.
  • March 12th, 1993Janet Reno is sworn in as the first female attorney general.
  • September 3rd, 1994Violence Against Women act is signed by President Bill Clinton.
  • January 23rd, 1997Madeleine Albright is sworn in as the first female secretary of state.
  • January 4th, 2007Nancy Pelosi is the first female speaker of the house.
  • January 24th, 2013US Military lifts the ban on women being able to fight in the military.
  • July 26th, 2016Hilary Clinton becomes the first woman to be nominated as a presidential candidate. 
  • January 20th, 2021Kamela Harris is the first woman and Person of Color to become vice president. 

One Year Ago Today: The Day That Everything Changed 

Students embraced and said their goodbyes on March 12, 2020 as school closed during the coronavirus pandemic. (File photo)

One year ago today, students were hurried into the auditorium after dinner for a hastily called school meeting that would change their lives

Earlier that day, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. There were only approximately 700 cases in the United States at the time, but public health experts were predicting the virus would spread exponentially in the coming weeks and months. Colleges and universities everywhere were sending students home, the NBA shut down that day, and there were widespread concerns that air travel would soon be suspended, which would have left dozens of international students stranded in Lake Placid. At that school meeting, Assistant Head of School Mr. John Spear told students that the school was sending them home and closing campus.   

In an email to the community sent while students were in the meeting, Head of School Mr. Mike Maher wrote, “I have consulted with Northwood School trustees and school leaders, as well as experts in public health, and colleagues at other boarding and college institutions. I have concluded, after careful analysis, that Northwood School will cease all on-campus programming and transition all instruction online as of today, March 11, 2020. Tomorrow we will prepare students for online learning and assist them with their travel arrangements. Student departures may begin as early as 2:00 pm.” 

It was the first time since World War II that school was shut down during the school year, and the students’ mood in the room ranged from celebration to shockA day earlier, student-athletes were disappointed when all athletic travel was canceled, effectively ending the Junior Hockey Team’s state championship run and canceling the soccer team’s trip to Las Vegas and the most important showcase of the season 

Northwood shared the news of the closure on social media on March 12, 2020.

The school hoped to re-open at the end of the school year, and Maher concluded his email on an optimistic note: We plan to resume on-campus instruction and other programming on Monday, April 27, which will leave four weeks for classes, AP exams, and other year-end activities, including commencement and LEAP. Of course, resuming on-campus programming at that time depends on the status of the coronavirus. We will monitor the situation closely and communicate regularly with everyone in the Northwood community.” Of course, school remained closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year with graduation canceled.  

Ella Fesette ‘22 was a sophomore at the time and recalled that day. A bunch of us were just hanging out in the living room and we heard a teacher walk by who mentioned something about leaving campus, and then that night we had a meeting about going home. I was so upset to leave because I had a feeling we weren’t coming back, and I was going to miss all my friends and especially springtime at NorthwoodAlso, not being able to say goodbye to the seniors I wouldn’t see again.”  

Senior at the time Madison Novotny ‘20 said, I was in the basement of Berg when I heard the news. It all happened so quickly. I was stressed.”  

Jazzy Valenzuela ‘21 was a junior on that day and recalled, “When we found out that we had to get sent home I was in the living room and then we were called into the auditorium for a meeting to talk about it. I was so confused and felt anxious because I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t realize a year later we’d still have corona, so I guess in the moment I was just expecting to go home for only two weeks.”  

Getting sent home was a shock to all the students. A lot of emotions were triggered from being stressed and anxious to being sad that the year with friends had to be cut short so unexpectedly. It’s safe to say that it was for sure a year they will never forget, no matter how badly some would like to.  

Hope Rises as Vaccinations Increase 

When COVID first started more than a year ago, nobody knew when there would be a cure or vaccine to eventually end this global pandemic. Once the vaccine was finally available to the public, it still seemed a long way away for the average person to get their shot. There is not just one vaccine anymore, which has gone a long way for stopping the spread of COVID . There are three approved vaccines that are currently available, including the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna vaccine, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Over 90 million doses have been administered to the American public and most people are hopeful that they see an end to this global pandemic. 

Image: iStock/Getty Images

Alaska currently has the highest percentage of people vaccinated with 24.7% and Georgia has the lowest number of people vaccinated at 13.4%. In many places elderly and mentally ill people are still the priority when deciding who gets the vaccine. Young people are being seen as potentially being able to be vaccinated by either May or June.  

The vaccine is working as evidenced in new CDC guidelines that say that vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask around other vaccinated people. According to the CDC, “Fully vaccinated people can:  

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing  
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing  
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.”  

Vaccination differs depending on what version of the vaccine people get. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine only requires one. Both variants require two weeks after the final dosage for the recipient to be considered fully vaccinated.  

Even when people are fully vaccinated, the CDC still wants people to take some precautions, especially around those who may be at risk. One detail in their new guidelines is, “Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease.”  

This precaution in their new guideline is essentially telling vaccinated people to still be careful around others as some people are still at risk of getting sick if they get COVIDUntil everybody is vaccinated the CDC still wants people to be cautious as there does not need to be another spike in Covid cases when it seems as if normalcy might be coming soon.

Chinese New Year’s Eve Is What Kids Prefer 

Chinese New Year is in the first day of the lunar calendar. It is a highly anticipated event, but many people, especially kids, prefer New Year’s Eve even more. 

Traditionally, people will have lunch at night in their homes; however, in modern times, people prefer to go to restaurant. In this way, all the family can sit together and have meal. Normally, every family will eat fish at dinner and leave the last piece of fish uneaten, because that means you had even more than you wished for. 

At the middle of the big meal, an elder will give young people red pockets containing money. The amount of money will differ depending on the different provinces in China. Normally, I can get the equivalent of $350 for each red pocket from my uncle and aunts. Sometimes there are $1,500 in my grandparents’ red pockets. 

After dinner, people will get back home early and watch the Spring Festival Gala. It includes every kind of program: cross talk, music from ethnic minorities and short sketch. The last part of Spring Festival Gala is the countdown. That night will usually be the only night of the year that children are allowed to stay up all night. 

The Return of Fans Will Improve Pro Sports 

A sign that reads, “We can’t wait to see you!” lights up the top of Madison Square Garden. (Photo: MSG)

In a move that looked like it would never happen, New York will soon be allowing fans to attend professional sporting events. With youth sports in limbo for so long in the state of New York, it seemed as if allowing fans to attend sporting events was far out of the question. Therefore, it came as such a shock when it was announced that as soon as February 23rd fans will be able to watch their favorite sports teams compete. Obviously, this experience is not going to be the same as it was in the past, but many people have waited almost a year for this moment.  

With Covid restrictions in place, stadiums cannot have enough fans to fill them to full capacity. The Buffalo Bills were a test run for this current format, as they previously played a home game in front of fans. The arena may look largely empty once fans are inside, but it will be a great change for viewers and attendees who finally get to experience some sense of normalcy.  

Teams will only be able to host a very small percentage of their fansMadison Square Garden, with a normal capacity of more than 18,000 fans, will only be hosting about 2,000 fans. At Barclays Center, they are very confident that this format will work. “We’re very confident in our ability to do this safely. It’s been at the forefront of our concerns all along,” John Abbamondi, the chief executive of BSE Global, the parent company of the Nets and Barclays Center, said in an interview with the New York Times. “We have a very massive facility here and we’re going to be bringing a really small percentage of our capacity.  

Fans cannot just simply buy a ticket like they used to. The process to get into the arena has got far more complicated. And the days of scalpers are over. The lastsecond decision to attend a professional sports event will have to wait until the pandemic is over. This is because testing to attend sporting events is key in ensuring the safety of all that are involved. The athletes clearly cannot interact with fans the way that they used to, as social distancing is also greatly encouraged. This is also shown greatly at Barclays Center as “All attendees will have to show proof of a negative P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of the event, and the state’s Department of Health will have to approve each venue. Fans will also be required to remain socially distanced and wear face coverings at games.”   

Even if the comraderies of the fans sharing this experience with the players is different, the players are surely just as excited as the fans that games are no longer being played in empty arenas. The experience of hearing people in the audience adds an extra rush of adrenaline to the players. It helps them feel as if somebody is appreciating what they are doing as the ovation adds an extra level of excitement. It makes the game feel as if it is less like a job and more like it is for fun as other people are enjoying it with you. Without fans, there is no sports, so it is great that New York State is finally rewarding fans for all they do to keep sports alive. 

 

Teachers Share Vaccination Experiences

Many Northwood faculty and staff are getting vaccinated. As a matter of fact, nearly 80% of Northwood School employees have received or are scheduled to receive their first dose. Nearly 30% have received their second dose of the shotThese numbers are encouraging, considering less than 14% of the US population has received at least one dose.   

The Mirror caught up with five faculty and staff members to ask about their experience getting vaccinated:  

Mr. Tony Miller said, I reacted to the first dose like a normal flu shotmeaning just my arm was sore. The second dose made me feel like I had a severe case of the flu, but I felt a sense of relief afterward. We’ve all been living in fear of getting sick. It was the first time I felt any sense of relief or comfort in a year.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

“Mr. John Spear said “I had no reaction to the first dose, which I was lucky enough to receive the week before students arrived back to school in January. The second dose really knocked me down for a full day, but it was worth it. I’m so excited that so many of my colleagues are able to get the vaccine.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

Ms. Katie Gilligan said, “I feel really, really lucky to be fully vaccinated this early in the year, though the second vaccine definitely kicked my butt. I woke up with just a sore arm and thought that would be the worst of it, but then around 11:00am I hit the couch hard and didn’t move for at least 6 hours. Fever, body aches, headache, stomachache — I had every symptom in the book. But the day after I was totally fine! Again, I feel super lucky and it was totally worth the 12 hours of not feeling good.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

Ms. Noel Carmichael said “I feel much more comfortable about the vaccine. There’s a lot we don’t know, and a lot we are assuming about how much it will protect us and for how long and from which strains. I’m still going to be cautious about wearing a mask and being careful about where I go. For instance, during spring break, I plan to go see my mother and she will also be fully vaccinated and so it’s exciting and a huge deal for my family. We haven’t seen my mom in over a year, so that one thing alone is huge in terms of our quality of life.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

Ms. Tara Wright  said, “I’m very fortunate to have been able to get both vaccines. I had very little reactions which I was also very fortunate, but I still feel like I don’t have a total sense of security because my kids are not vaccinated, and my husband is only partially vaccinated, so I’m continuing to do things as I was prior to being vaccinated.” (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

 

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