SOUTHWICK- Senior Week traditions are being modified for COVID-19 and the Class of 2021 is hopeful they can celebrate together, socially distanced.
The Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School Committee March 30 heard the tentative plans to have senior activities this year. The Class of 2020 Senior Week was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Southwick Regional School (SRS) Principal Joseph Turmel said during the Tuesday School Committee meeting that Senior Week celebrations were being designed with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and school policy surrounding the pandemic in mind.
Senior Week would begin Monday, June 7 with a senior carnival on the SRS fields. Senior Class President Adam Smith said during the meeting that the plan would be to have things like obstacle courses, water slide inflatables, whiffle ball, and volleyball in an outdoor setting.
Tuesday, June 8 and Friday, Jun 11 would be rain dates in the event of weather on any of the other days of Senior Week. All of the proposed activities would take place outdoors to mitigate COVID-19 spread.
Wednesday, June 9 would be the awards ceremony, which would be held underneath a set of four large, side-less tents. Each graduate would be permitted to bring six guests. Scholarships will be given out, as well as the annual awards such as the Emerald Shield.
Thursday, Jun 10 would be prom, which none of the graduating seniors were able to participate in as juniors because of the early outbreak of COVID-19.
School Committee Vice Chair Pamela Petschke voiced concerns over the ability to maintain social distancing in some of the informal events, prom in particular.
“I can see [social distancing] being a challenge at prom,” said Petschke, “But I do know that if any district can do it, we can because you guys have really impressed us this year.”
Turmel proposed that the four large tents would be set up, with each student being assigned one of the tents. With approximately 105 students expected to attend prom, about 26 students would be under each tent. Turmel said this would make social distancing easier to enforce and allow for easier contact tracing in the event that there is COVID-19 detected among any of the students afterwards.
Superintendent Jennifer Willard said that she is awaiting further prom guidance from the state, and that the prom plan will be adjusted if necessary. In order to place a limit on the number of people in attendance, only seniors will be allowed to go to the STGRSD prom this year. Those who are juniors this year were told that they would hopefully be able to have a prom next year.