March 13, the anniversary of NN going virtual is approaching. What do you remember?


Photo Credit to American Psychological Association

Friday, March 13, 2020, was the last day that Niles North students, staff, and faculty had a normal day at school before it was announced that the school would be going virtual. Clubs, the school musical, and field trips were also canceled. The one-year anniversary of this unlucky date is fast approaching. 

North Star News found out what students, staff, and faculty remember about the day they learned that NN was moving to remote learning. 


Tell the story of how you found out that Niles North was shutting down due to COVID-19.

“I was in the musical, Matilda, and we had just finished our community performance. We were beginning to take our cast pictures and Mr. Ortmann stopped us to tell us it was a great first show and unfortunately our last. At first, I was confused but seniors were welling up with tears and devoted members consoled each other. I realized that we weren’t going to have the show anymore. It was a very awkward and emotional picture-taking session and when we left that day we saw DECA and track staying behind from their events, too. We all were expecting to come back in a few weeks. Now it has been almost a year and looking back it was really a pivotal moment that led to a more trivial year than we all thought.”  – Jadean Warburton, Senior


“I remember I was just going to have a regular day at school but also knowing that the COVID-19 crisis was going on. It was during my Asian American Studies and Acting classes when we discussed that we are not going to be coming back to school for a few days because the crisis was getting worse. I knew this was a possibility because I have been keeping up with the news about COVID-19 ever since it was first detected in the market in Wuhan, China. It felt 50/50 for me because I was thankful that I was not going to watch the pep assembly without performing in it, but also sad that I will never see any of my friends in person in a long time and go on field trips.”  Francesca Galicia, Junior


Okay, storytime: A few days before that unfortunate day, my 1st period math teacher brought the discussion topic of the nearby schools shutting and that we may be next, moving to “e-Learning.” A man walked into the class and whispered something in her ear then left. She gave a shocked look and, then with a pause, decided to break the news to us even though she wasn’t allowed to: the school is going to close. I don’t know how I felt about it at that time. This stuff doesn’t happen often, so it was something to be surprised at. When we closed, I thought (and probably most people), “Oh, this will go on for a few weeks and we’ll be back.” Nope! It dragged and dragged, even more, when the Governor announced to keep schools closed until the end of the year. And this school year, we are still doing remote, but finally started hybrid. A historical moment, truly!” – Sophomore


“I was actually in 8th grade at OOJH but I remember the day quite vividly. They had canceled school for two weeks in the morning. I was on the yearbook staff and the yearbook was due the next week. We had to get all the club pictures taken now since we wouldn’t be back for “two weeks” so all day we spent calling clubs down to the gym to take a photo. The day felt very off for everyone. I was also in another play at the time which was performing that night. The night before I had heard that the Niles North musical was canceled from my sister who was the stage manager. I was wondering if they would shut down my play but we still had the performances that night and during that weekend. I remember walking out of school on the 13th and saying “see you in two weeks”, we all said it. Well, two weeks turned into the rest of the school year and more. We never got an 8th-grade dance or 8th-grade graduation or a real start at a new school.” – Freshman


“I was at lunch with my friends that day. We were just talking until one of my friends read an email saying that school was shutting down. We were way too overexcited about this since it was announced we would have two weeks at home instead of one week, since spring break was around the corner at the time. I never thought that COVID would shut down school for the rest of the year, so I wasn’t too worried. I remember one friend saying that we can go to school and play video games at the same time. I thought that what he said was pretty funny. The day flew by and I said farewell to my friends and that I probably wouldn’t see them in a few years. Now that I am writing this, I pull out my phone to check the date right because I can’t believe it has nearly a year since we were in quarantine. It’s still hard to believe it.” – Sophomore


If you could give your past self advice about how to handle things when COVID-19 first hit, what would you tell yourself?

If I gave my past self advice about how to handle things when COVID-19 first hit, I would say wear a mask since many people in East and Southeast Asian countries do it to protect their health.”  – Francesca Galicia, Junior


“I would tell my past self to find things you enjoy doing and people you can confide in to keep your peace and sanity when things get rough.” Jadean Warburton, Senior


“Be calm. Prioritize my work, and invest my time in finishing and staying on top of my work. Staying at home would suck, and it would make you go insane, which is why I would tell myself to connect with my friends more often online.”  -Sophomore


I wish I knew then what I know now” is an archetype as old as time. I wish I could have saved some lives by yelling every day, in every way, “WEAR YOUR MASK!” I wish I could yell this so loud that Texans and Floridians could hear me.” – Cynthia Fey, Staff 


“Stay calm and make sure to take ur vitamins and be healthy..also to appreciate the small things that you don’t realize you take for granted.” – Junior