SELLERSBURG — Silver Creek High School students will not attend in-person classes for at least a month as Indiana schools switch to eLearning, but as seniors collected their books and supplies from the school this week, they found notes of encouragement decorating their lockers.

Teachers and staff at the high school posted more than 200 handwritten notes on the lockers in the senior hallway for students to find Monday as they came in a few at a time to collect their items. The school is finishing its second week of spring break, and students will begin eLearning next week.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused schools across the state and the country to temporarily close their doors, and for high school seniors, they are having a far different final semester than anticipated.

Dee Kramer, a librarian at Silver Creek, was among the staff members who wrote notes for students, and she wanted to spread some positivity during an uncertain time. About 20 teachers wrote notes for students over the weekend.

“The seniors feel like they’ve really lost out,” she said. “The senior trip was cancelled, we don’t know what’s happening to prom, the senior activities — all of it.”

Each student could choose a note from any locker, Kramer said.

“The main message we were trying to send is that we are there for them and we’re all going to get through this together,” she said.”

Senior Abby Braun selected a note saying, “We’re all in this together! We love and miss our seniors,” and she posted it on her bedroom door. She’s been overwhelmed by the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, and she appreciates the support from the teachers.

She was disappointed that the senior trip to Washington D.C. had to be cancelled, and when she left school before spring break, she wasn’t thinking of the possibility that it might have been her last in-person class as a high school student. At this point, the school closures extend to at least May 1.

“There’s been a lot of emotions going through this, and just seeing those notes, it just helps us all knowing we’re not alone in it,” Braun said. “The teachers are probably going through same stuff.”

Melissa Hinton, art teacher at Silver Creek, created about 15 notes for students with graffiti-style art. She wanted to send the message to students that teachers understand what they are going through, she said. She is preparing to retire, and she now is facing the challenge of converting her classes to eLearning.

Kramer said she was inspired to see the positive response to the notes, and she hopes the notes show that teachers are thinking about their students during this difficult time.

“We want them to know we haven’t forgotten about them, if by chance this lasts all the way through the school year,” she said. “We’re not just walking away, and we’ll still be there for them between now and then. We support them, love them and we’re always there for them.”

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