Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 04-23-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 IN OUR SCHOOLS APRIL 23-29, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER EDITION experience. He said after helping the class along for so long, he feels use- less now. "I can't bring back anything that they were expecting. A normal senior week, a normal prom, a normal graduation is all out of my hands," Ferron said. As class president, Ferron said he feels terribly. He said it's been chal- lenging for him as well as for all the seniors. "Out of all the things I looked for- ward to for my senior year, I wanted to finish school with all the friends who had been there the whole time. Not being able to do that as a com- munity is devastating," he said. Ferron said he also misses the sense of community and the "notoriously rowdy" Smithfield fan section, the Sentinel Army. He said the Class of 2020 has always prided itself on con- necting as a community. While virtual learning is the best solution given the circumstances, said Ferron, he feels it is inferior to learn- ing in a classroom. "I can't believe how much I took for granted the power of seeing someone and being in their presence. A screen just doesn't do it justice," he said. Seeing a friend on a screen doesn't feel like seeing them at all, he said. As far as "senioritis," which Ferron explained is when seniors would rather hang with friends than go to classes, there is no such thing this year. "Senioritis is contagious when there are other activities to do other than school. With nothing going on, online school serves as one of our only ways to socially connect with others and active parts of the mind," he said. "Undoubtedly, we wish we could spend just one more day inside Smithfield High School," he said. In the end, graduation ceremony or not, Ferron said he is proud of his fellow seniors for the sacrifices made missing out on senior and school activities for the safety of others. He said it may be the last lesson of high school: doing the right thing isn't always the best for you. "Do the right thing anyway," Ferron said. Though times are rough for seniors at Smithfield High School, said Principal Dan Kelley, he is not giv- ing up on hosting graduation and prom this year, though junior prom is canceled. "My focus is on graduation and prom," he said. Kelley said he is still negotiat- ing dates with Bryant University in August for a potential graduation. Even in August, Kelley is not sure if the state will allow a gathering the size graduation typically brings, or about 1,200 people. To slim down attendance, the department is consid- ering admitting only parents. Kelley is also exploring other unique alternatives to a graduation ceremony, including a senior parade or a drive-in movie type of celebra- tion. "I'm honestly not sure. I don't know what this is going to look like SENIORS From Page One Continues on next page

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