A Pop Culture High School Re-Opens

A message from the administration of Chester A. Arthur Central High

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Valued Students, Families, and Staff of Chester A. Arthur Central High School,

As the beginning of our school year fast approaches, we would like to help you prepare by sharing details of our newly-implemented protocols, procedures and rules. We have been working diligently to ensure that we are prepared to have a safe, productive, and memorable school year, and we are putting every effort into being ready for you to walk through our doors this fall. 

The 2020-21 school year presents unique challenges for all of us, but we believe that our students, staff and families embody the #CougarStrong spirit that has gotten us through so many other difficult times together before—and has made us the generic all-purpose setting for so many beloved pieces of teen-focused pop culture in the past, including movies, television shows, music videos and young adult novels.

We are attempting to abide by all federal and state guidelines for safety, even though it is still unclear which state we are in. It might be California? But, depending on tax incentives, we might also in Atlanta or Toronto. There was one episode where it was implied that we are in Ohio, but the student body is improbably attractive for that scenario to be considered likely. It’s hard to say for sure, but we are monitoring the situation closely and will keep you informed as more answers become available.

Current scientific understandings of the novel coronavirus suggest that its impacts may be more mild in people under the age of 18, but those individuals, even if not directly affected, are still capable of carrying the disease asymptomatically and unwittingly spreading it to family members and staff. Additionally, as many of our students are in actuality 27 to 32 years old, this further complicates such age-based considerations. Be mindful of your health and consult your character’s IMDB page.

We have made some modifications to the physical space of Central High’s main building which will be evident when you arrive on the first day of school. We have demarcated lines in hallways and common areas to encourage one-way flow of traffic, and will be discouraging heart-felt conversations in front of lockers that end with one student slamming a locker and walking away while the other stands there and stares thoughtfully as the music swells. Consider other dramatic locations that allow for more social distancing, such as the beach at dawn, a cornfield, or an empty stadium.

Access to the administrative offices be limited to administrative personnel only, with exceptions made on a case-by-case basis. We know that many of you are accustomed to bursting into the principal’s office unannounced, expecting to pour your heart out on non-academic issues such as the status of a radio station’s dance competition or the imminent closing of your favorite anachronistic teen hangout place to an educator with whom you have a surprisingly close personal relationship that will set an unrealistic expectation of the role of school administrations for young viewers, but until further notice, these visits will be allowed by appointment only. 

We are encouraging students to eat lunch in the same consistent small groups each day. We understand this does limit nerds, dorks, and extremely pretty people who just need to switch to contact lenses in their efforts to break upward into cooler cliques, but we believe this complication will only add depth and pathos to your eventual redemption arcs. Consider stretching this particular plot line until the spring—there’s nothing wrong with a cliffhanger, we’ve always said. Except for that time one the school bus got stuck on the edge of a literal cliff.

(We will never forget you, Vice Principal Morton.)

Plexiglass shields have been added to the backs of all chairs used by Cool Teachers, to protect students while they are being inspired by fresh new readings of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and/or lectures on how Shakespeare was the original rapper. Uncool teachers will not receive shields.

There is strong evidence that some activities can be considered “super-spreading” activities, and for this reason we are, temporarily and until further notice, discouraging groups of students from breaking into elaborately choreographed song-and-dance numbers in the hallways of our school. We understand that musical expressions of your feelings and/or motivations are important to advancing both your education and character arc, but for the time being, we encourage you to consider expressing yourself through visual arts such as painting, decoupage, sculpture, or as a last resort, poetry. Those of you who are leading secret dual lives as pop stars are encouraged to limit touring to virtual events, or to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days after returning from the road. 

We are requesting that until further notice, all Mean Girls, Bad Boys, Secret Societies and Dangerous Cliques limit their hazing and intimidation to cyber-bullying and other no-contact methods. These methods have proven very effective in the past. Should you have any questions, the Teen Witch Coven has been a leader in this field, and they may be able to instruct you in the use of effigies, hexes, and/or the power of the moon.

We understand that many of you are, in fact, vampires, and we respect and embrace your special presence within our student body. No one understands your unique needs better than you do, but we do encourage you to be cautious when draining blood from each other. It is unclear whether COVID-19 can be spread through blood and/or to the undead. Please consider wearing a facial covering except when biting, and experiment with feeding positions that minimize face-to-face contact. Similar encouragements are made to all teen zombies, teen wolves, and other such fantastical creatures.

We want you to have confidence that these safety measures will not distract from our central mission, or from the ongoing criminal investigations into the ongoing series of possibly-interconnected and sexy murders that have happened in our extremely handsome and brooding student body over the past four seasons.

With your cooperation and commitment, we believe that the 2020-21 school year can be the best that we’ve ever seen at Chester A. Arthur Central, and we believe that the #CougarStrong spirit is stronger than any virus.

Stay Strong, 

The Underdeveloped Administrator Characters,

Update (8:42am) It is with sorrow and regret that we must inform you we have been cancelled, and our remaining episodes will be unceremoniously dumped on Hulu next month.