Arvin High School, like many other schools, are striving to bring back and rebrand their school culture and spirit by increasing the excitement of coming to school after the events of the COVID-19 pandemic.
August 17 marked a special day for all the high schools in the Kern High School District: the first day of school. But unlike any other first day of school, this one marked the start of school without mask mandates or regulations for COVID-19. School has started to become once again normal for these high schoolers.
However, one thing still rests: the effects of COVID-19 on school culture. The previous school years have recently been shown to lack that spark of school culture, mostly due to the pandemic limiting certain actions schools can take. At Arvin High, things were also like this. Before the pandemic, The school spirit and culture at Arvin High was non-stop excitement, and now they want to bring that excitement back.
Adam Acosta, a senior at Arvin High, mentioned that “the impact of COVID has really changed school culture compared to freshman year. People are participating less because they have become accustomed to the online environment COVID has created, leading to a decline in events related to the arts like color guard and marching band.”
Acosta participates in marching band and other musical extracurriculars, and he finds it strange to see less people participate in these activities when usually there are many that join.
“Another thing that impacted participation is how COVID canceled most school rallies for a long period of time, leading to a decline in school spirit,” said Acosta
Laura Liera, Activities Director at Arvin High and the runner of the ASB (Associated Student Body), has plans to bring back the school culture. With the efforts of ASB, Liera and students will design and host great events for the school year to get students more involved and feel that excitement that school has to offer.
Link Crew, an organization that helps freshmen navigate high school and get them accustomed with school culture at Arvin High, also has their plans to make the school year great.
On the first day of school, Link Crew hosted a freshmen rally to make the freshmen more welcomed into the school. Ivan Orozco, one of the coordinators of Link Crew, mentions before the rally that Link Crew’s goal this year is to get as much excitement as they can from these freshmen. This year’s class has gone through some tough times and don’t really know how to navigate and express the school spirit, that’s why it’s Link Crew’s and ASB’s job to plan and showcase how things are done.
Angelica Pantoja, current freshman at Arvin High, mentions that stepping into freshman year “feels intimidating at first, stepping into a new school, especially coming out of COVID. Yet, after getting used to it little by little, It’s really fun and all right. It’s barely like the third week of school and we already have a spirit week plus a club day.”
Like Angelica, other freshmen and upperclassmen are starting to feel the thrill of school culture.
“There seems to be some changes in the school, more like connections kind of. It’s the start of the school year and the football team is already going against McFarland,” said Caecilian Pantoja, senior at Arvin High.“The first day of school felt good. It felt loud. You have the cheerleaders and ASB who pump up the energy.”
According to Acosta, Arvin High is seeing some growth this school year, and kicking it off with a good start.
“I do feel the spark that was once there during freshman year. I definitely hear a ton of people talking about homecoming this year and there’s generally more excitement surrounding the event than there was in the previous year”, said Acosta.
Arvin High’s homecoming is September 2, with football going against Kern Valley High School. This week marks their spirit week, with dress up days and fun activities leading up to the Homecoming rally and game.