Prom and school activities are well known traditions at Cal High, but with recent Covid guidelines, it’s been harder for leadership students to effectively plan these events.
Junior class president Riley Hughes said leadership started planning for junior prom toward the beginning of December 2019.
Hughes said that the hard part is knowing what people want to see from them. Adjustments may need to be made during the planning process, but the team has been making progress.
Activities will look different this year with new COVID-19 guidelines to keep both teachers and students safe, while still making the ends of junior and senior year enjoyable.
Junior leadership vice president Gabby Meidberg is hopeful that they’ll be able to have modified activities such as a socially distanced float similar to previous years.
“Hopefully [we can do] something similar to when the cars were driving by,” Meidberg said. “Maybe T-shirts and apparel will be distributed as well.”
Hughes also hopes that she’ll be able to distribute giveaway items and special treats in person, but the leadership team still needs approval from administration before going through with this plan.
Junior officers and other leadership students are already planning ahead for a senior ball in 2022. As leadership continues to plan this event for the juniors, senior president Amanda Le is still planning out how the senior activities will go this year.
“The most difficult thing is compromising what students want and what we’re allowed to have, especially following Covid safety protocols,” Le said.
But of course, they’ll need to ensure that students are safe and having fun during these times. As with any large-scale event, these rules will be based on school and county guidelines to make sure safety protocols are followed.
Leadership has also collaborated with other district high schools such as Dougherty Valley to come up with safety guidelines for hosting official events. They hope to find different ways to connect with students, perhaps through individual activities if not all ideas manage to go through.
“I would say that all of the senior officers are doing the best for their classes and to make sure parents also approve, as well as Covid safety protocols,” Le said.
School administration met with other district administrators this week to discuss meeting the needs of parents and students. But as leadership adviser Ross Dautel noted, the constantly changing nature of the virus also causes any school plans to change almost daily.
“Prom was originally scheduled for March,” said Dautel, who noted that leadership is trying to explore alternatives in case plans change.
Dautel also had to make adjustments to homecoming. The modified drive-through event was supposed to take place in early January, but was postponed.
“[We] reframed homecoming this year,” Dautel said. “However, the plans have failed since Covid guidelines changed.”
It can be tough to strike the balance between what’s good for the students and what’s safe for them.
School administrators, the PTSA, and leadership students are also working together to recognize the seniors for graduation. Dautel hopes that Cal and Dougherty will manage to come together and allow seniors to graduate safely as collaboration continues to be amplified throughout the year.
Meanwhile, many juniors such as Samreen Khan are still hoping for a junior prom, whether it’s virtual or socially distanced. Khan is curious about how virtual prom would work, since there would be no dancing.
“If I end up attending I’ll probably be excited about dressing up,” Khan said.
Senior Ken Vejby plans on attending the activities for seniors, but it depends on whether the plans will go through.
“[The] hardest thing besides making the program enjoyable is the fact that it’ll take a lot of gas money to get there and back if it’s in person,” Vejby said.
Vejby thinks it is likely that senior activities will be able to happen as long as staff enforces social distancing and mask wearing. He said free items, coupons to eateries, and Grizzly apparel could help win his heart over.
While all plans are still a work in progress, junior and senior officers are still trying to help the classes of 2021 and 2022 celebrate their end-of-the-year successes.