Author Archives: Althea Olsen
Althea Olsen, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
March 17, 2020
Until April 7th, Rockland Public Schools will be closed in order to contain the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Beginning in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus rapidly spread throughout China’s nation, and quickly spread throughout Europe and the United States. As a response to the now declared pandemic, the United States has declared a national emergency and with each day that passes, the U.S. is issuing stricter guidelines to “flatten the curve” of the virus’ spread. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has ordered all private and public schools to be closed for three weeks in order to contain the spread of the virus within Massachusetts. Along with the closing of schools, the MIAA, or the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has decided that the beginning of spring sports will be delayed until April 27.
One of the major ways to keep personal hygiene and protection from the virus is washing the hands with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds. Hand sanitizer with sixty percent alcohol is a great alternative for when soap and water are not applicable. The CDC recommends that individuals do not rely on hand sanitizer to keep them safe, and to wash hands when possible. The CDC also recommends to clean and disinfect surfaces often, and stay home if one is feeling unwell. Wearing a medical mask will only help if the individual wearing the mask is sick. Medical masks will prevent the spreading of illness, but will not prevent the gaining of it. Most importantly, cover the mouth when sneezing or coughing, and keep a six foot distance from individuals who appear to be sick.
Individuals over the age of 60 are most prone to more serious related illnesses from the virus. Those who are immunocompromised, including individuals with heart and lung disease and diabetes are in the most danger. In our local community, grocery stores such as Market Basket and Stop and Shop have established specific time frames within their store that are dedicated for those aged 60 and over. This creates a safer and more comfortable environment for those who are at larger risk for the virus. Check the websites of grocery stores for more information.
Individuals under the age of sixty with healthy immune systems will often have no severe cases of the virus. COVID-19 within younger, healthier individuals is compared to having the cold or the flu. In order to decrease the spread to those who are in greater danger, everyone is urged to keep a distance of six feet, called social distancing, and practice healthy hygiene.
Due to the possible cancellation and delay of spring sports, many seniors fear they will be unable to share their last memories on the field. Yesterday, the MIAA announced that spring sports may be able to begin on April 27.
Schools across Massachusetts have also cancelled important events such as their proms and fundraising opportunities. The RHS music and theatre department’s Mary Poppins that was scheduled on March 27 and 28 has also been cancelled. The College Board has cancelled the May 2 SAT testing. Juniors should check their website for future testing dates. For juniors and seniors AP exams are still scheduled. For more on AP tests, check here.
Here’s a small sampling of how Rockland High School students feel about all of this.
Junior Robert Ivil said, “Everyone and the media are making a huge deal about an evolved cold, but I am worried for my grandparents since they are a part of the high risk age.”
Billy Robinson, also a junior, believes that society is treating this as if it is the Black Plague, but believes that having no school is a positive step, since so many aspects of the disease are unknown.
Zachary Solomon says that he is very bored without school, and is worried for his grandparents since they are in the high risk age and have experienced past illnesses. Most of the students in Rockland believe school cancellation is a positive in order to contain the virus.
It is strongly advised that individuals follow quarantine rules to the best of their abilities.
During the school closing, Rockland High School will have free grab and go lunch available Monday through Friday 11:30 am to 12:30 pm at the “Mainstreet” entrance of the high school.
Dr. Alan Cron has also announced that administration and teachers have worked “to develop a district-wide, comprehensive ‘work from home’ plan for all students and parents. Also, the district will provide laptops or Chromebook computers to those who only have a phone to connect to the internet. Dr. Cron said those that would like to borrow a laptop should email their building principals.
If you are without internet service at home, Comcast is providing a 2-month free internet package for families. Information on the program can be found at http://internetessentials.com/.
Please help spread this information and check the RPS website for updates.
On Thursday, January 16 at 6 pm, Morissa Vital, program manager from the Southeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership will speak to parents about vaping and nicotine addiction. The presentation will be mainly focused around the high school vaping epidemic. Morissa Vital will specifically address ways to prevent secondhand smoke, ways to help individuals quit nicotine and tobacco, along with helpful ways to prevent youth members from starting nicotine and tobacco products.
Parents deserve to be informed about the harmful impacts a high school social norm can induce. 20% of Massachusetts high school students report currently using e-cigarettes and vape pens, and 41% have tried them at least once (see attached flyer). As a generation, students and even parents are being exposed to toxic and harmful chemicals. Parents are encouraged to attend the presentation in order to raise awareness for themselves and their children.
A table representing Rockland Cares will also be available to visit on the night of the presentation. Rockland Cares is a community organization that provides information and support for individuals and families who suffer with addiction.
Both the presentation delivered by Morissa Vital and the Rockland Cares table are extraordinary steps the town of Rockland is taking in order to raise awareness about the dangers of nicotine and addiction. As a community, Rockland thanks everyone for their undivided support and commitment in hopes to make a difference.
If you have any questions please contact Freea Leahy, Director of Adjustment Counseling, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-871-8406.
We hope to see everyone there on January 16th!
Nov. 30, 2019
As Rockland tradition, the Holiday Stroll will return the Saturday after Thanksgiving in order to get ready for the Christmas holidays. This community-held event that began over 25 years ago holds activities and demonstrations that satisfy everyone’s interests.
Community members of all ages are encouraged to attend to enjoy activities such as Joe’s Crazy Critters, a meet and greet with Santa and Ms. Claus, character meet and greets, hayrides, and much more!
Businesses and churches along the route also participate in the event by providing accommodations such as clam chowder, cookies, and face paintings.
RHS students will also take part with the Chorus caroling and seniors decorating Santa hats at Mountain One Bank.
The stroll this year will occur on November 30th from 4pm to 7pm. All are encouraged to attend!
Althea Olsen, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
Thanksgiving is a joyful holiday used to celebrate friends, families, and of course the food that it set out onto the table during the celebration. In communities such as Rockland, some families struggle to find ways to give thanks during the holiday. Even something as simple as setting the dinner table can be a daunting task for some. During this Thanksgiving season, in order to give thanks back to your local community, here are some ways that you could make a difference and give thanks this holiday season.
- Donate nonperishable goods to a food pantry
Rockland High School is currently running a Turkey Trot to raise food for families during this Thanksgiving season. Until November 21, students were encouraged to bring in canned goods and nonperishable items to donate to the local food pantry. The class with the most items will receive points towards the class cup!
- Go through clothing and textile items at home and donate anything that is no longer needed to a local clothing bin or Salvation Army
- Participate in volunteer work at places such as the senior center
- Support the troops by creating care packages and letters
- Simply give thanks to an individual in your life; someone at school or a member of your family
When asking around the high school, students and faculty frequently respond that they are thankful for their friends, family, roof over their heads, cars, school, and the access to food. Below is a video made by WRPS and The Veritas asking students for their feelings about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
On Sunday October 27, 2019 from 5 to 7 pm, Rockland High School students and staff members held the annual Project Pumpkin Halloween celebration.
This year, Project Pumpkin had over 400 visitors that came to enjoy activities such as indoor trick or treating, face painting, and games in the gym area. Students at Rockland High School, mainly members of Student Government, showed their support to the event by volunteering and dedicating their time. Students dressed up in costumes to hand out candy to the trick or treaters, and helped organize the gym to allow for safe and enjoyable times for the guests. Some students even dedicated their time to help in the haunted hallway, which gave visitors a spooky experience.
Visitors were also able to receive a discount for one dollar for every can brought in. This fundraiser allowed for Rockland High School to raise canned goods for the food drive this month.
Here is a video and some pictures from this year’s Project Pumpkin!
The annual Project Pumpkin is taking place again for the 2019 Halloween Season. This Sunday, October 27, 2019, Rockland High School is running a fun filled indoor trick or treating opportunity for children. Along with indoor trick or treating, children will have the opportunity to play games and do face painting in the school gym. The haunted hallway is another highlight of this fun filled event.
The time of the event is 5 to 7 pm. For every canned good brought, one dollar will be removed from the admission price. The prices are $5 for a child, and $2 for each additional child. For the whole family, the price is only $10. Parents are free!
Rockland encourages everyone to attend this fun event! Here are some pictures from last year.
The week leading to Rockland’s first Unified Pep Rally and Homecoming dance consisted of a fun filled spirit week with great participation school wide. The following spirit days were:
Monday: Rockland Pride Day
Tuesday: USA Day
Wednesday: Boston Sports Day
Thursday: Throwback Thursday
Friday: Unified Pep Rally Day
On Friday, Rockland High School hosted the first unified Pep Rally, which was a school wide gathering held in the stadium to symbolize inclusiveness within the Rockland community. The Pathways program and the Bulldog Buddies had the opportunity to enjoy fun hands-on activities such as tug of war, a push-up competition, a school wide roller coaster conducted by Owen Shea, and a running through the banner. All students of Rockland High School were highly encouraged to wear white to show unity amongst the community. Here are some photos from the event.