COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's one last cram session for mother and son, Tamika and Elijah Pogue before the junior takes the ACT.
Although he may be a little nervous, Elijah has big dreams of attending Morehouse College and becoming a heart surgeon.
“Just keep on working. It's never a no or a give up,” Elijah said.
Elijah is one of more than 100 students at Franklinton High School who are “all in.” They are no longer dawning the hybrid model and are taking all precautions possible during the COVID-19 pandemic — anything from weekly COVID-19 meetings, new traffic patterns, split sessions, natural ventilation and contact tracing if needed.
Since the fall school year began, Franklinton High School has not recorded any positive cases of COVID-19, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
“What we’re doing can be done at any school anywhere. It’s not rocket science. It’s listening to what the CDC says, working with a staff that is smart and able and has (the) capacity, figuring out ways to make a difficult situation doable. And we thrive,” said Franklinton High School Principal Martin Griffith.
“Had to work very hard between our men's and women's basketball programs to create a situation where they can be safe and still play basketball. So we do practice with masks. We compete with masks as well,” said Franklinton High School Athletics Director Tenishia Benson.
While Griffith knows the strict measures will need to continue for some time, he's encouraged by the positive feedback from parents, students and teachers alike.
“Mostly, we hear a lot of thank you’s, and we hear a lot of 'we’re grateful for what you’re doing.' And it’s hard for parents — parents who are trying to work (and) parents who have siblings who are younger at home. Having high school kids in school means a lot to them,” Griffith said.
Franklinton High School is also looking to expand in the near future with plans to move into this location next school year.
And for the Pogues, navigating life through the pandemic will soon be a distant memory and a future with endless possibilities await.
“Communication is open. Their door is open at all times. The children are our future, so got to make sure that we can't make them keep falling behind. We have to stand strong with one another,” Tamika said.