Smiles and laughter will soon fill the walkways leading to the front doors of Trinity Junior High and High School as students will, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic protocols were implemented, enter their school and interact with fellow students, faculty and staff.
On Monday, June 1, a summer school class will begin, along with some sense of normalcy.
"We wanted to bring education to another level in the lives of our students who have been away, like any student in the country, for 9-12 weeks," said Fr. Kregg Hochhalter, Trinty dean of students. "The initial thought was just how do we either make up some time or touch base with our students who we haven't seen in a long time — while maintaining safety for them and safety for us?"
When the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction released guidelines for on-site summer school, Trinity decided it would take advantage of them. The course, which is on fitness and conditioning, will limit 10 students per class and take place in three rooms in the school — the gym, multi-purpose/rec room and weight room.
"We knew it would be very popular with kids. They've been cooped up in their homes for nine weeks, so we thought getting them out would be huge. We don't want to necessarily bring them in and put them in a desk. It's a course designed to work on their sport-specific agility, to work on their flexibility and to work on their overall fitness," Fr. Hochhalter said.
There will be sections for both junior high students and high school students taught by one of two instructors, coach Craig Kovash or coach Kevin Poswilko.
Students will work for one hour three or four days a week. Classes are offered from 7 - 11 a.m.
"They're going to work really around students' schedules, just to accommodate vacations and to accommodate work schedules. It's a good hybrid. It's kind of a good compromise between the daily Monday through Friday, which often doesn't work for students because they want summer jobs, but yet still fulfilling our requirements to teach the content well," Fr. Hochhalter said.
The class will provide a foundation for student athletes to resume training for their sport.
"This is going to be pretty general regarding the agility, flexibility and strength. Those are just foundational skills for any sport you do, whether it's basketball or volleyball or track or swimming; you need flexibility; you need agility; and you need strength," Fr. Hochhalter said.
Although many of the students registered for the course are athletes, it's open to any Trinity seventh through 12th grade student this coming school year.