HOSA, NHS among many clubs who have adjusted to new ways of operating since start of pandemic


Photo courtesy HOSA

Mrs. Buckley has incorporated some HOSA information into her classroom curriculum since the start of the pandemic.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, clubs at Bearden have changed drastically. From virtual meetings to asynchronous Canvas courses, or YouTube video uploads, Bearden extracurriculars are unrecognizable from what they were at this time two years ago.

Club sponsors are working toward creating a more immersive experience for club members while working through the Covid-19 barriers. HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America, also known as “Future Health Professionals”) has worked hard to create a realistic experience for students. Long time club sponsor Mrs. Kelly-Ann Buckley, who teaches medical therapeutics, medical assisting, and nutrition science, has experienced the drastic changes throughout Covid-19 first hand.

Prior to Covid-19, Bearden might send as many as 50 students to compete at the state level, but only nine will compete at this year’s event, Mrs. Buckley said. This will be the first time in two years that HOSA students are competing in person due to cancellations and virtual competitions over the past two years.

This change in participation is indicative of the lack of student awareness about clubs, but also represents the importance of extracurricular activities for students to get involved in programs that will expose them to their specific interests. HOSA offers leadership and teamwork events that are all within the Health Science, allowing students to collaborate with like-minded peers. 

“Some of the things we try to instill are professionalism and career exploration,” Mrs. Buckley said. 

HOSA connects students and offers opportunities for growth and development, and gives pathways to determine what they want their career to be.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions since the pandemic began, the club has had to change the way they meet. HOSA has created different options this year for students with scheduling conflicts due to other classes and other clubs. The instruction often overlaps with information taught in health science classes, but for HOSA students who are not in a health science class, there is a Canvas course that club members can access asynchronously.

Mrs. Buckley and Mrs. Glenda Inman both work hard to make sure this club is available to all students who have a medical interest, and they want to make sure students know about this amazing opportunity to meet peers from across the country with the same interests.

“Pay attention to the announcements, come and see the health science teachers, and apply with a QR code,” Mrs. Buckley said. “And just come to the meetings.”

National Honors Society (NHS), a service hours based club for juniors and seniors, has also changed drastically through the pandemic.

It is an “organization to recognize outstanding high school students who demonstrate excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character,” club sponsor Mrs. Lauren Sanderson said.

With the obstacle of Covid-19 restrictions to many service hour opportunities, the club requirements have changed over the past two years. Before the pandemic, NHS met together once a month, but the current meetings are sent out through a group Remind message, as a video clip with information and updates.

“We used to require five service hours for NHS affiliated volunteer events,” Mrs. Sanderson said. “But most people could not get out and volunteer during the pandemic.”

NHS president Baylor Johnson has also experienced this change in policy through her membership as a junior in the 2020-2021 school year. She has never experienced a “normal” year of NHS, but has still had to make changes in her leadership style this year.

“It’s been quite hard to keep everyone on the same page and feeling like they are truly part of something bigger than themselves even though they cannot see it,” Johnson said.

For juniors and seniors with excellent academic performance and high grade point averages, NHS is a club that allows students to become involved with community service and emphasize personal character growth. 

The changes made in the NHS program exemplify many of the parallel changes seen in schools throughout the past two years. In both NHS and HOSA, Covid-19 protocols have changed attendance and membership, as well as the way in which these clubs meet. From in person meetings in class, to virtual video links, and asynchronous Canvas courses, students who want to be involved in clubs at Bearden will have a vastly different experience from those who graduated before the pandemic.

Bearden offers many clubs that provide opportunities in a variety of interests. For students who are looking to get involved in the Bearden community through clubs, information can be found on the Bearden High School homepage, and a “Virtual Club Fair” is available for students to view and explore the options available to them.