FREEPORT — Every week, students at Brazosport High School made video announcements for their classmates. Since students can no longer gather to make them, members of the administration has taken the responsibility upon themselves.
Brazosport High School Principal Richard Yoes released a comical morning announcements video Monday on the school’s Facebook page. The video had staff members lead pledges, encourage daily reading and lighten viewers’ moods.
“We started last week when (the administration) started missing the kids like crazy and wanted a way to let them know we’re thinking about them,” Yoes said. “We’re looking forward to seeing them back at school.”
Although the school district has had extended unplanned breaks for other reasons in the past, this time is different, Yoes said.
“It’s so different than any kind of weather outage like a hurricane because we don’t know when it’s going to end,” he said. “You can’t leave and get out of town or even visit friends.”
One of the goals of the videos is to uplift the high school seniors, who have a unique struggle, Yoes said.
“All the activities that they’re involved in, everything they look forward to socially, has been taken away,” Yoes said. “For our seniors, this time is really tough because they had so much to look forward to.”
Senior Gentry Wessman appreciates the personal touch from the school.
“Mr. Yoes’ announcements are a bit comical to help relax the students during this stressful time,” Wessman said.
The principal, who wore his pajamas, gave funny ideas of things to do while in quarantine, such as training your dogs, watching Netflix and getting in shape.
“I have kids of my own and they had ideas and they’re just things we’ve tried to do the last few weeks,” Yoes said. “I didn’t make it super formal because we’re all adjusting to working from home and dressing down shows that transition.”
During the school year before spring break, Yoes would announce weekly birthdays.
“It was the sweetest thing when he said he knows we announce birthdays every week and he’s still going to do it,” Wessman said. “My birthday is on Thursday and I feel it’s the little things that make a difference. Even though it’s just saying happy birthday, it made my day.”
Yoes wants to feature a different staff member in every announcement to give the students a chance to see their teachers and counselors.
“Given the circumstances, there’s not much to do besides sit around and think about the things we miss,” Yoes said. “That’s been really tough.”
Wessman believes Brazosport ISD has good communication with its students.
“Everything is working really well,” she said. “The school district is doing a really good job of keeping everyone informed and making sure everyone has the opportunity to learn.”