Courtyard opens to juniors, short-lived

Harrison Army, Staff

The Senior Courtyard at PA allows seniors to separate from the rest of the school during lunch, as the weather allows. Normally, the courtyard is opened exclusively to seniors. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 school year allowed juniors to use the courtyard as well. 

Headmaster, Dr. Morris said that in order to facilitate social distancing in the cafeteria, they had to limit the seating capacity to just under 90 seats. “Consequently, we needed some overflow and the main office lobby and the Senior Courtyard made the most sense,” he said. 

The new rule allowing juniors access to the courtyard did not last long. Within the first few weeks of school, the decision was reversed, and now solely seniors occupy the courtyard as weather permits. 

“We quickly discovered, however, that social distancing in the Senior Courtyard was going to be problematic and went back to making that area exclusive to just seniors,” Dr. Morris said.

Dr. Morris said the change was “strictly COVID-19 related” and was not made for any other reason. 

Some seniors were not pleased with the idea of bringing juniors into the courtyard. 

“I was a bit annoyed since we had waited four years for that and then all of a sudden they were allowed in,” said senior Katie Edmonds.

Junior Hannah Picott, however, was “excited” to use the courtyard. “From what I’ve noticed in the past years, seniors haven’t really used it so I was glad I would be able to take advantage of it,” she said.

However, Edmonds said keeping the courtyard exclusive was the correct decision.  

“Juniors were out-numbering the seniors, and it made it hard to keep the social distancing procedures in place,” she said.

Picott wasn’t happy about the change but said it was “understandable”.  

“I was slightly disappointed when I found out we would no longer be able to use it but I get where the administration is coming from,” she said. “I noticed there were a lot of people out there at the same time I also was.”