Mask to mask

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Stockman’s Personal Fitness class exercising while social distancing.

There have been many noticeable changes made for this 2021 school year. From the constant sanitation to the fewer number of people in the building, it is quite different. One major change that has occurred globally is the wearing of face coverings and masks. 

When the pandemic first started, CDC made their stance on wearing masks very apparent; everyone should wear them. Soon enough, masks swept over the world. Now even here at CCA. However, some people have been raising some concerns about being able to breathe while wearing masks. Here at CCAHS, Gym classes and choir classes require taking deeper breaths as they involve exercising and singing, which requires more oxygen.

Studies have shown that wearing a cloth mask (which most students in class wear) doesn’t affect oxygen exchange levels,” said Cam Stockman, one of the P.E teachers on staff this year. “With that being said, our expectations have lowered a bit from last year because we aren’t having students wear heart rate monitors. This year we are simply encouraging students to do the best they can, and come in and get moving.

This year Stockman says they are ”sanitizing equipment more, and taking steps to keep students (and staff) healthy” and also while implementing social distancing for all workouts and activities. Shifting to more body weight workouts and less games has been an accommodation for all P.E classes at CCA throughout all schools. 

A common problem that many teachers are having is communicating with students. Stockman commented, “I don’t think breathing is the hard part.  Projecting my voice so everyone can hear me in a large space is probably the biggest problem.”

Students that participate in choir have also had some major changes. They are required to wear separate masks just for their choir class. 

“The singer’s mask allows you to be able to sing and talk clearer,” said choir teacher Tracy Williams. “[But] Because of the 3 layers of material, this mask gets hot and you do experience a little shortness of breath so the singer has to take more breaths than they normally would.”

Like the P.E. classes at CCA, changes have been made to the curriculum of the choir classes as well. Williams said they are focusing more on “music theory and musical terms and less performance based.” And Williams did admit it to it being hard to work on vocals while wearing masks. 

Regardless, Stockman and Williams both commented on how they are taking this day by day and as a huge learning experience. “This is a whole new way of teaching and that we need to value the time we have face to face or should I say mask to mask,” said Williams. “I can’t wait for the day when the masks come off and we will be able to sing harmoniously together again.”