By Ivie Li
From the return of sports and performing groups to in-person events and full-time learning, New Hyde Park is truly taking steps towards normalcy. What was once “off-limits'' for gym class is now back again: gym lockers. A change that began on November 29 was that students are now required to change for gym class and have a lock to secure their belongings.
“Our goal was always to open the locker rooms fully at some point this school year. The decision to use the locker room for physical education classes was made based on a successful fall sports season. Our fall sports teams used the locker rooms. The student-athletes wore masks and socially distanced whenever possible,” said physical education, health and FACS chairperson Mr. Maguire.
“The same expectations from before the pandemic are held when it comes to being prepared for gym class...”
The original five minute periods before and after gym class are designated for changing and bathroom access. The same expectations from before the pandemic are held when it comes to being prepared for gym class.
Now, students will be required to change into appropriate clothing and footwear, so no more jeans or boots. However, due to the past experience of gym class without lockers, some students prefer not using them at all.
“Having to use gym lockers is sometimes a hassle because you have to go all the way down to your lockers instead of going straight to gym class. I also sometimes forget my lock, so my stuff is left in the locker without a lock,” said senior Miriya Lok.
Source by Anna Detke
The gym lockers are back in full use during gym class and are being filled with backpacks once again.
Despite the opposing views, reopening gym lockers might have the benefit of driving students’ attention away from their belongings and guide it towards the activities themselves. When students wear physical education appropriate attire, many gym teachers believe it will encourage them to participate more. To be able to use the locker rooms, the same safety precautions apply as in the classrooms.
“The health and safety of our students is extremely important to our school and district. If students wear masks and socially distance themselves in the locker room, we can safely use the locker room and minimize the transmission of COVID,” said Mr. Maguire.
There are still many aspects of school life that have changed from the pandemic. However, slow reopenings bring back old routines, and NHP will continue to experience more steps towards normalcy.