Manville’s March 13th Shut Down: 1 Year Later


Owen Kurdyla

One full year has passed since March 13, 2020 where many thought and heard, “we will be back to school in about 3 weeks.” Unfortunately, this is not how it happened. Many are feeling anxious, as well as confused in regards to the fact it has been a full year since our schools shut down. Manville High School’s principal, Mr. Hemberger, has some special insight and words of advice to our Manville community. 

When school’s announced a year ago that we will be closed for two weeks, maybe three weeks, but was extended, Mr. Hemberger was just as taken back as many! He communicated that he also thought we would be back in school and the pandemic handled by April 15th. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen and it moved out of his control. 

Many struggled emotionally, mentally, finalaically, and many other ways during the year long shut down. Some may even argue that students struggled the most. Mr. Hemberger stated that, “Collectively I just feel torn about the whole thing because administration and students will never get this time back. Mostly the students because you guys will be missing a big part of your memories and life. I guess I just feel as if you guys won’t get this time back and that’s what gets to me the most.” Although students and families were creative with ways to stay busy and move forward with their education, the memories and gatherings students missed out on cannot be given back. 

During this year long hiatus, students were not the only one missing each other. Mr. Hemberger expressed how the school seems empty. Upon reflecting on this, he states, “I wholeheartedly miss all the students being in school. It has been easier in the discipline department because there are less and less problems with students interacting with teachers and other students. I believe that all the students put differences aside because of the time they separated.” 

This being said, the Manville administration and staff have been working tirelessly keeping up with procedures and expectations to ensure students and staff can not only attend school and events, but do so in a safe way. “Whatever the COVID procedures were, we made them then and we really didn’t know what was going on. We did try our best to make it adjustable as needed when they would need to be changed and up to the CDC standards.” Even though the CDC guidelines were constantly changing, MHS’ s administration rose to the challenge and was flexible and adapted, like many have had to do during this pandemic. 

Regardless of the fact we are a full year into the shutdown, there are positive outlooks on the horizon. Mr. Hemberger states, “We are going to try and open up some events. We are going to try and have a graduation ceremony outside and some schools are not even going to do that.” Even though the date March 13 will be remembered by students, teachers, staff, and administration, it is important to reflect on how much MHS has tried to do to ensure their students’ education was not lost.