Future of Grad Night for Class of 2021 remains unknown

November 12, 2020 — by Jonathan Si and Minsui Tang

In a previous version of this story published on the web on Nov. 5, The Falcon incorrectly reported that Los Gatos High School had canceled  its prom and grad night for the Class of 2021. LGHS has so far not canceled prom and Grad Night, and the error has been corrected in the story.

 

Normally, Grad Night brings together the senior class  in a carnival-like atmosphere on campus to take pictures, have fun and cherish their last time together before they leave high school. In the previous years, there were tarot card readers, chocolate fountains to drink from, memory boards, picture booths and many more activities. 

As with some many other events, though, the pandemic has thrown this year’s Grad Night planning into limbo.

Each year Grad Night is organized by a group of volunteer parent coordinators. 

The parent coordinators for the Class of 2021 are Beth Kingsley, the mother of Marisa Kingsley, and Monica Reddy, the mother of Jasmin Reddy. They say they have hopes of a typical Grad Night while ensuring the safety of students. In order to get approval for the event from health officials, they know they will have to show they will adhere to established protocols such as face coverings, social distancing and hand sanitizing.

For a Grad Night to occur, however, assistant principal Matthew Torrens says that it is crucial for the district to reach Phase 4 in their four-stage plan, meaning the entire student body is allowed to stay on the campus without having to stay socially distanced. 

The district is currently in Phase 2, meaning only small groups of people are allowed on campus. If the situation does not get better by early June, Torrens said it is likely that the event  will be canceled the way it was last year.

The Senior Celebration Committee — consisting of class officers, class advisers, senior ASB officers, Grad Night chairs, Torrens, and activities secretary Anna Ybarra — plans Grad Night, prom and graduation. All three events will need written plans that will have to be approved by the district or the County Board of Health.

“This is all new. We are figuring it out as we go,” Torrens said. “The key is communication and transparency so there are no surprises.”

Superintendent Michael Grove will have the final say on whether there will be a Grad Night before the committee waits for the school board and the County Board of Health to approve their plans.

Because it is still early in the school year, Kingsley and Reddy have a tricky situation to navigate.

“We are planning it out as though it will happen, but in the back of our minds, we know that we might be planning for something that might not happen,” Reddy said.

Reddy and Kingsley say they hope to make matters better for the seniors with at least a modified Grad Night.

“They’ve missed out so much, and hopefully the seniors would be able to do something if not the traditional Grad Night,” Reddy said.