Warwood Middle School ‘Viking Enterprises’ Still in Business Despite COVID
WARWOOD — Students at the Warwood School and “Viking Enterprises” are still in business and doing well despite missed school days due to the pandemic, according to Principal Joey Subasic.
At the start of the 2019-2020 school year, Warwood School started its Viking Enterprises initiative — a workplace simulation program in which students “go to work” at jobs at the school the last period of the day.
Some go help teach kindergarten students in the elementary school next door, while others work on the yearbook, school newspaper or television production projects.
There are engineering students, music students and others interested in graphic arts and web design.
But Viking Enterprises came to a standstill when the COVID pandemic forced students to learn at home.
“That period itself was not a part of the remote as we were more worried about their math and reading and the core subject areas,” Subasic explained. “But the kids kept running with it. It was their passion. It has been a pleasant surprise about how gung-ho they’ve been getting the projects done.”
When the students returned last month they seemed anxious to return to their school jobs, he said.
“They’re building. They’re making,” Subasic said. “While we were off, they weren’t able to do much but they worked independently because it was something they were interested in.”
“It’s actually been a bright spot during a crazy year. When the kids are here, they just do it. They love doing it.”
Subasic said last fall before COVID numbers again started to spike, students in the student government class collaborated on writing a grant that resulted in a water bottle filling station being purchased and installed at the school.
“The kids wrote it themselves 100 percent,” he said. “The teacher just oversaw it.”
He wasn’t certain of the amount of the grant, but he said the filling stations typically cost about $2,500.
In other classrooms, the engineering students are working on building a track for a Lego Derby, creating cars to race on it, and interacting with the elementary students on racing them.
Graphic arts students have designed a logo for the school, which is being emblazoned on t-shirts and other items being sold as fundraisers for the school.
A school newspaper has been published, and the video production students worked on producing videos for Dr. Seuss week in between snow days.
At the start of the school year, teachers host a “job fair” where they seek to recruit students to their classes. Students apply to the job area they most like, and they may or may not get the job. Some may be assigned to another area in their interest.
If they are unhappy where they are, they can reapply to another area the following year, Subasic said.
“Some of the students returned to their jobs and our leaders in their company,” he said. “Others are maybe doing something different.
“We had some that stuck with it, and some that changed,” Subasic said.