Administrators, students plan for senior year events at Atascadero High School

Posted at 10:45 AM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 13:45:48-05

Going to senior prom and graduating from high school alongside some of your best friends is something most high school seniors envision from a young age. Due to the pandemic, high school administrators are having to look at alternatives to make those major events a reality, all while following health guidelines and keeping students, staff, and families safe.

"Something is going to happen, I can guarantee you," Dan Andrus, principal at Atascadero High School said.

Andrus is in the planning stages to make the swan song of senior year special.

"We will have graduation, the date's not going to change, the venue may change," Andrus said.

Come June, the plan is to have an outdoor socially distanced ceremony at Memorial Stadium. Andrus says the event would be live-streamed and four immediate household members would be permitted per graduate.

"Going into the springtime and we're definitely planning different activities and we're planning it in three different ways," Mia Perry, senior class president at Atascadero High School said.

That includes the highly anticipated prom, which Andrus says would likely also take place at the stadium under a tent.

"If we were to hold prom today, the guidelines that would be in place of course would be that once they get all dressed up and look spectacular, then they would need their matching face masks," Andrus said. "As a chaperon, I would have to make sure they stay six feet apart all night, so we're hoping some of those guidelines change before we get to do prom."

All plans will be pending approval from the San Luis Obispo County Health Department. Plus, Andrus is prepared for plans to change.

"We have to plan events for the current guidelines," Andrus said. "We're planning events anticipating we might get to orange or red and have new guidelines."

Additionally, a parent committee is working to give students a safe and sober grad night, which would otherwise be celebrated at Disneyland. Whatever the outcome, high school seniors like Ki-Lin Baribeau are remaining positive while keeping perspective.

"Myself personally, I'm just hopeful but keeping a realistic point of view," Baribeau said. "But, I think that's what everyone is doing, being kind of optimistic."