School spirit is alive and well in Cordova; it has just moved online in the days of COVID-19.
Both Cordova High School and Bankhead Middle School are currently hosting a virtual Spirt Week. Daily themes have been announced on each school’s Facebook page. Students are encouraged to share pictures of themselves to stay connected to their friends and teachers right now, and both schools will also be using the pictures for their respective yearbooks.
CHS is using the hashtag #CHSspiritdays. On Monday, students posted pictures of themselves exercising for “Rocky” Day.
Principal Alisa Brown said Grace Williams, the school’s librarian and yearbook sponsor, suggested the idea to her last week.
Brown called virtual Spirit Week “a reminder that we are all in this together” and “a way for us to interact with them and vice versa even though we can’t be together right now.”
The remaining themes are Ferris Bueller Day (“snap a pic in your PJs and sport your best bed head look”), Secret Life of Pets (“take a picture of you with your favorite pet”), Tik Tok Thursday (“create a new Tik Tok video”) and Freaky Friday (“dress like one of your parents now or when they were in high school”).
Bankhead’s hashtag is #BMSDEVILS. The themes are Missing School Monday (“snap a pic of you today and tell us what you miss about coming to school each day”), Pet Day Tuesday (“post a pic of you and your pet”), Chalk Your Walk Wednesday (“draw or write an encouraging message on your sidewalk with chalk”) Throwback Thursday (“post a throwback picture of the first day of school in August 2019”) and BMS Devil Pride Friday (“show off your favorite BMS spirit gear by taking a pic and posting in your favorite BMS shirt or uniform”).
Friday’s theme is bittersweet because these pictures will likely be the only ones of athletes whose seasons were cut short due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Traditional spring pictures, including pictures of Who’s Who and student government leaders, also have not been taken, according to Principal Amber Freeman.
Freeman said she got the idea for hosting a virtual Spirit Week from Haleyville High School. Her goal is “to keep the positive attitude going as we await what the instructional process is going to look like and keep the Blue Devil spirit strong in the students.”
Freeman has been posting daily announcements on the school’s Facebook page since the shutdown began. The posts include recognitions of birthdays and suggestions for passing time at home such as exercise prompts and a COVID-19 writing journal.
BMS teachers Amber Parsons and LeAnn Hood have been hosting Coronavirus Quarantine challenges and teacher Amber Gilliland has started her own YouTube channel, Gilliland’s Island.
The eighth grade’s Living Wax Museum was also moved online with funds being raised for the Colon Cancer Coalition.
Freeman and Brown also used their school’s Facebook page to reassure parents and students after Gov. Kay Ivey announced last week that schools will not reopen for the remainder of the year and instruction will be done via distance learning.
“There is a team at the Central Office developing a plan on what finishing out the year will look like for students as well as teachers. I will keep you informed and post information as needed. We are going to be OK! Stay home and stay safe!” Freeman wrote.
Brown assured CHS seniors that they will be able to attend prom and graduation when it is safe to gather again.
“My heart is broken that our students (especially our seniors) are missing so many of the fun times that this time of the year brings and the many celebrations of your accomplishments. The one thing that I want you to focus on is this: YOU ARE BLUE DEVILS! Your parents and teachers have spent all of your life teaching you to survive in this world! Hang in there!” Brown wrote. “Do what is necessary for your health and the health of your friends and family! As soon as we get the go ahead, it will be graduation day for our seniors! Even though it has not been as planned, CHS Class of 2020 is making history and will NEVER be forgotten. The faculty & staff at Cordova High love each of you and miss you! We WILL be here for you during this time. In good times and bad I am proud to say, IT’S GREAT TO BE A BLUE DEVIL!”