Study trips canceled due to coronavirus outbreak

EDITOR’S NOTE: The article was updated at 7:25 p.m. on March 6, 2020 to include an official announcement made by Summit Public Schools.

By Judy Ly

Rainier Editor-in-Chief

With camping trips canceled, students focused their excitement on the annual college visit trips. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, all study trips scheduled next week has been canceled. Two out of the eight Summit high schools — Tahoma and Tam — study trip plans are not affected and are still scheduled to happen in April. 

With Rainier’s study trip scheduled to start next Wednesday and end on Friday, Rainier junior Jaryd Buendia said the cancellation is an inconvenience and a disappointment. 

“It’s one of the biggest things I kind of look forward to each year when I go to Summit,” Buendia said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to like look into different schools around our state, especially if we’re going to LA or to a new place that we don’t really have many opportunities to go to often. 

Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors across Summit Public Schools go on an annual study trip. Students get to visit college campuses, varying from different institutions and school sizes.

Rainier Spanish teacher and junior mentor Isela Mosqueira said a lot of her students have been looking forward to this trip for three years. 

“On top of everything that my juniors have had to deal with this year, our last trip together was canceled,” Mrs. Mosqueira said. 

In an email sent by Summit Public Schools, it states. “Because of the extensive planning and cost of these trips, we are unable to postpone or reschedule these trips for this school year. ”

Rainier Executive Director Edwin Avarca said the cancellation is in response to communication with Summit Public Schools’s home office and local public health departments. 

He further explained that they suggested canceling any public activities that would put people in close proximity to each other. He gave examples of how there would be huge amounts of students on campus or taking public transportation, which can put students at risk due to additional interactions with the public. 

Towards the end of the school day, teachers found out about the news through an email. For Rainier sophomore Karla ‘Vivis’ Andrade, her classmates found out through a teacher announcement during her last class. 

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Towards the end of the school day, Rainier students learn their study trips are canceled. PHOTO CREDIT: Van Tran

“Everyone was really upset about it,” she said. 

Rainier sophomore Connor Corona said the cancellation “sucks” because study trips help students “experience the campus life and the college life,” for a short period of time. 

In reference to Rainier’s closure, Mr. Avarca said, “This was going to be like the last series of study trips. So I definitely think that it’s a disadvantage. At the same time, I want to protect the health of our students and also their family members.”

He said there will be a meeting amongst other Summit Public School directors to discuss other experiences the schools can offer to their students. Mr. Avarca anticipates updates to come over the weekend and on Monday.  

Featured image at the top of the page:

College posters hang on a wall in a Rainier classroom. PHOTO CREDIT: Judy Ly

 

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