After it was announced that the Walnut Valley Unified School District would close schools for the rest of the year, Brahmas have been working together to create a memorable experience for the Class of 2020, who would be missing out on traditional senior events like prom and graduation.
To make up for the graduation ceremony that was canceled because of the ongoing pandemic, activities director Janna Van Horn worked along with the Class of 2020 officers to plan senior events while maintaining social distancing.
“I’m rather indifferent [about senior activities being canceled] but I’m just bummed that I no longer have the choice to take part in them,” senior Sol Lee said via text. “It sucks that I can’t hang with my friends like before.”
Events include a Pre-Ceremony processional Drive-Thru on May 28 where seniors will receive their diploma covers, awards and other commemorative items. Seniors will receive their diploma at a future date which is yet to be determined.
Graduates must also bring their student IDs with them before receiving their awards. The school will also give graduates the opportunity to take photos wearing their cap and gown while reinforcing the social distancing guidelines.
Later that evening, there will be a virtual graduation ceremony held on the school’s website where names of graduating students will be announced. After the ceremony, seniors can attend another Post-Ceremony “Purple Parade” Drive-Thru at the school.
The Pre-Ceremony and Post-Ceremony will both be held at the school’s parking lot at different times for all students based on alphabetical order by last names to comply with social distancing mandates. In addition, the school will only allow one car per student at the ceremony and traffic will enter off of Pathfinder Road and into Brahma Blvd through the parking lot.
Although some seniors are disappointed about missing out on end of the year memories at school, the efforts made by the school were appreciated.
“As much as [the activities] seems cool, it wouldn’t be the same because I would have to go out of my way to participate in them,” senior Mark Tan said via text.
Because of the school closure, activities that went through a lot of planning, such as prom and bounty hunter, were canceled. To honor the Class of 2020, 39 staff volunteers drove around 30 different cities to set out lawn signs for 706 seniors last month
“We picked a venue [for prom] and we started looking at our options way back during sophomore year,” Class of 2021 Social Chairperson Chris Tran said via text. “There were a lot of things to take into account for like the space of the actual dance floor, areas to put extra activities, outside areas and just the overall aesthetic of the place.”
In response to the canceled events, seniors had the chance to make them up with new activities planned by the Class of 2020 officers. Senior social distancing activities include decorating graduation caps, signing rally posters and a virtual talent show for seniors to partake in.
“We still have hopes to be able to reschedule certain activities and we do know that these events do take a lot of advanced planning,” Van Horn said via email. “We hope that we will be able to provide opportunities for our senior students to gather and say their goodbyes.