In-person gatherings to allow for socializing, activities

Some+in-person+activities+have+been+approved+to+resume+by+the+University+of+Chicago.

Midway staff

Some in-person activities have been approved to resume by the University of Chicago.

Peter Pu, News Editor

Recognizing the toll that distance learning and pandemic restrictions have taken on students’ wellbeing, the administration has organized opportunities for students to connect in person as soon as allowable at both grade-specific and mixed-grade events during the weeks leading up to spring break. 

Grades will be partitioned into two sets for events with morning and afternoon time slots. The dates for each grade are:

  • Class of 2024: Feb. 17, 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; March 10 from 9:30-11 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. 
  • Class of 2023: Feb. 24, 10:15 to 12:30 p.m.
  • Class of 2022: Feb. 3, 9-11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m.
  • Class of 2021: March 3, 9-11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m.

Ninth graders for their February event and sophomores may request two or three friends to group with. At their March event, ninth graders will be grouped by advisory and led by peer leaders. Juniors and seniors will be organized into groups corresponding to their college counselors. 

We thought this was a nice way to provide a little bit of structure to those gatherings since we’ve got things going on that day anyway but also provide ample amount of time for kids just to be able to see one another and to chat and hang out.”

— Ana Campos

According to an email to families sent Jan. 20 by Principal Paul Beekmeyer, the social distancing guidelines indicate that students have to wear masks and remain six feet apart with no more than 15 individuals per space. 

In addition to socializing, ninth graders will attend an all-school assembly featuring Rodney Glasgow, chair of the Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Sophomores will attend an assembly featuring speaker Mark Sanders and learn about drugs and alcohol. Juniors and seniors will engage in college workshops. 

“We thought this was a nice way to provide a little bit of structure to those gatherings since we’ve got things going on that day anyway but also provide ample amount of time for kids just to be able to see one another and to chat and hang out,” Ana Campos, dean of students, said. 

New students admitted to Lab will have the opportunity to tour the campus Feb. 2 from 3:30-5 p.m.

“I think almost all of them have never actually stepped foot in our school,” Ms. Campos said. “It just feels really, really awful, and so we are desperately wanting them to get into school.”

Ms. Campos said that in addition to grade-specific events, Lab will host mixed grade events on campus on multiple Fridays from 4-6 p.m. leading up to spring break. Activities may include walking on Jackman Field, biking around Hyde Park, crocheting, making art, and playing games. Capacity will depend on the number of activities planned. 

“It’s doing it in a way that really attends to students’ social and emotional needs,” Ms. Campos said. “Like we know — kids just need to get together.”