Since the start of the school year, the Class of 2021 has wondered what festivities, such as walk, prom, and graduation, may look like in the COVID-19 era.
Last year, the Class of 2021 felt the brunt of the impact of COVID-19 on their high school experience and many major social gatherings that they have been looking forward to all year, including Battle of the Classes and Junior Banquet, were canceled.
At the same time, the Class of 2021 felt sympathetic towards the Class of 2020 as they lost even more traditions such as the Senior Walk, Prom, class barbeque and a whole-class graduation.
Although the Class of 2020 lost a lot last year, some seniors say that they would switch places with the Class of 2020 if they had the chance, since they had nearly 7 full months of a ‘normal’ year without mask requirements and some social gatherings like Junior Banquet and Homecoming.
“If I had the option to switch places, I would,” said senior Olivia A.
Some seniors missed the semblance of normalcy that many seniors in the past have experienced in the pre COVID-19 era.
“I would switch places, but with the Class of 2019 since they had a completely normal high school experience,” said senior Dylan N.
While some seniors feel a little jealous that the Class of 2020 had normal school for almost all of last year, others feel that the Class of 2021 is missing just as much as the Class of 2020.
“Although the Class of 2020 was able to go to Junior Banquet and Homecoming, I think we have it just as bad as them,” said senior Jackie J.
To help make sure the seniors get the celebrations and festivities they have been looking forward to, the Commack School District formed an “End of Year Events Committee” to organize special events such as Walk, Prom, and Graduation in a way that seniors will remember for the rest of their lives, while also maintaining COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The committee consists of building administrators, as well as the executive boards of the Office of Student Life and Class of 2021 and their respective advisers. The committee has already started to hold meetings to brainstorm ideas for how the seniors’ end of year festivities will run.
“Since the first meeting, We have brainstormed many ideas that we are super excited about for the remainder of the year. We want to plan the best events. However, we have to do it responsibly,” said principal Leslie Boritz, at the January Board of Education meeting.
In addition to the Events Committee’s ideas, the Events Committee reached out to other seniors so the committee can hear their suggestions on what their special events should look like. Parents are also invited to state their suggestions through parent connections.
Superintendent Dr. James also wrote letters to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Mario Mattera advocating for a full-class graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021. The letter stated that many school districts including Commack have the capacity to organize a complete ceremony while also keeping seniors and their families safe from the spread of COVID. The letter also stated that the Commack School District has a low COVID infection rate of 0.36%, as of January 22nd. Some health and safety precautions that CHS and the district would take include temperature screenings and keeping “family pods” 12 feet apart.
“I would love to see a full graduation ceremony happen,” said senior Olivia A.🔳