Paul G. Blazer High School Covid – 19 Response Timeline
- KHSAA postpones Sweet Sixteen. Ashland Blazer Tomcats finished the season leading up to the Sweet Sixteen with a record of 33-0.Sweet 16 postponed
- Faculty was notified school would be out for 2 weeks due to Covid-19. Faculty asked to focus on Google Classroom and Paper packets if necessary.
- School lunches delivered using buses to provided lunch and breakfast to school age students. Multiple stops established throughout the community.
- Outpatient Clinic setup in gym lobby from 3/16-3/27.
- Chromebooks offered for students to sign out and pick up.
- School parking lot offered for work space so students can access the school’s internet.
- Governor Beshear announces closing of restaurants which effect local economy. Restaurants move to delivery and pick up services only. Restaurants close
- 8th grade Transition Meetings cancelled.
- Governor Beshear orders “nonessential” retail businesses to close further effecting local economy. Nonessential
- Faculty notified of two more weeks of NTI work required. Google classroom only, no paper packets unless absolutely necessary and must get permission from principal.
- Ashland Blazer Youth Service Center host Drive Thru Needs Fair. This event help provide basic needs essential to students such as deodorant, shampoo, school supplies, etc. Additional fairs were scheduled 4/3 and 5/1.
- Blood Drive held in high school gym lobby hosted by Kings Daughters Medical Center.
- Faculty informed two more weeks of NTI.
- Governor Beshear announces school will not return for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. School will not return
- Sweet Sixteen officially cancelled. Spring Sports cancelled. (See Sweet Sixteen below)
School Events Cancelled or Effected
- Club Activities (Inductions, conferences, etc.)
- Special Olympics
- Chicago Band Trip
- AP Exams – moved to home testing
- Class scheduling for upcoming year
- Graduation - modified to a Virtual ceremony following CDC guidelines
When the news of the Covid-19 cancellations started coming, there was one that was the most devastating to kick things off. The postponement of the Sweet Sixteen sent a shockwave through the community of Ashland. The community had truly backed the Ashland Tomcat basketball team during their historic 33-0 season leading up to the state tournament. During a year, where AK Steel closing, Bellefonte Hospital shutting down and the uncertainty of Braidy Industries shook the foundation of the community, they still had their Tomcats. These Tomcats brought the community alive and it showed with the home stands full every night and by having more fans in attendance during most away games than the home team. The class and character of the high school players brought life into the community. The cancellation was very disappointing for the community and the team but it has also provided anticipation for the upcoming season.
CLASS OF 2020
The Class of 2020 will be one remembered for a long time. The will not only be remembered for the amazing students and people they are but also by how the last 3 months of their high school career was ripped away from them by Covid-19. The staff at Paul G. Blazer High School have taken some steps to help make the senior of 2020 feel special during this pandemic. The faculty and staff at the high school all adopted a senior, or two. Each senior was provided with some gifts and a personal note or card that expressed how much the seniors were appreciated. The school also provided yard signs for seniors to display to show they were graduating, as well as a yard sign displayed in the front of the school with their picture. A senior t shirt was made and delivered to those seniors as well.
The community also got involved with adopting a senior. They did an amazing job of showing their love and support by showering them with gifts and praise. Facebook was used as a means to get the information out and was flooded with pictures of seniors receiving their gifts.
Our senior also showed some leadership during this time by petitioning the school district to host an in person graduation. The virtual graduation was accepted by the seniors but they still went to the Board meeting in May to continue to represent their class to work toward an in person graduation. The final decision was that an in person graduation will be held July 17th, if guidelines have changed and will permit the ceremony to go forward. The decision will be finalized July 1 if this ceremony will take place.
As we move forward and look to next year, there is some uncertainty. Paul G. Blazer High School will continue to monitor any updates and guidelines set forth by the CDC. We will also be following the guidance document to reopening schools that was sent out by the Kentucky Department of Education.