Extra-curricular activities take new avenue in online learning


Club representatives meet on Oct. 7 for the second Inter Club Council (ICC) meeting.

Through a creak in the door you see students huddle up in a classroom with smiles across their faces, the echo of their laughter reverberates as they discuss common interests, new events and service activities. This once was the scene of a typical high school club and though online learning means virtual meetings on Microsoft Teams, student organizations still press forward.  

With the exception of JROTC, after school clubs cannot meet in person and are bound to an online platform.

“We may have to change projects, for example, making banners together to making signs individually,” said Cynthia DePanicis, art and knitting club sponsor.  

Additional after school activities, such as sports, are also being impacted. The swim team adjusts to balancing practice during a pandemic as their season is delayed until winter.  

“As of now, we are meeting [on Teams] once a week. Usually, during the season, I would see the team daily after school at practice,” swim coach Ginger Viola said. 

 Modifications are being made to keep school activities running. The new format incorporates some “normal” elements of pre-COVID activities, but it is a work in progress to get everything back to the usual standards.            

“Hopefully as time passes, more and more restrictions will be lifted and we will be able to do this in a more normalized sense,”  volleyball coach Nancy Medlock said. 

The volleyball team is currently conditioning over Zoom due to safety restrictions. Inevitably when students return to school, clubs will also be modified to fit the new routine. 

 The ASL club, for example, typically enjoys donuts once a month at meetings, but that’s now on hold.

“Once we go back to face to face, the [activity] schedule will be adjusted,” ASL club sponsor Riva Markowitz said. 

While some group opportunities to earn service hours such as the Schott Communities 5K have gone virtual, many have been suspended until further notice. Behavior specialist David Pereira said the staff is working to discover an effective and appropriate way to earn virtual service hours through clubs. 

Opportunities for service hours are arising outside of clubs. Students can check out the website handsonbroward.org as a source for community service.

“There are many opportunities to volunteer,” school counseling director Lauren Cohen said. “As we learn of new opportunities, we send them out via Naviance email to all students.” 

“Students will stay connected with others who share the same interest and will exchange ideas,” DePanicis said.