artwork by Caeli Willard
UC High seniors graduating in June this year will have the opportunity to participate in modified senior events due to the situation COVID-19 has created.
Originally, many different activities had been planned. Many cherished senior activities like Prom, the Disneyland trip, and the Senior vs Staff basketball game have all been canceled. This caused a lot of questions from current seniors regarding what is going to happen now, in light of what’s been going on. Principal Jeff Olivero shared, “We are working on the plans now for a senior celebration and potential summer graduation.”
According to Olivero’s School Closure Update Number 24, “On June 9, 2020, the last day of school, we will be doing two things for our seniors. At 12:00 p.m., we will post our online senior celebration. Seniors and families can visit the school website to view shout outs to our seniors. And then starting at 2:00 p.m., we will have a drive-through/walk-up celebration for seniors. Each senior, again according to their last name, will be allowed to come up to the school where we will be giving students their yearbooks and their diplomas. This event is not a graduation, but a senior celebration. We plan to have music, balloons, etc. for this last day of school celebration for our seniors.”
These two activities are to make up for what seniors lost this year. Olivero clarified, “If allowed, the summer graduation will be held in July if health guidelines are in place.” This means graduation will happen if the current coronavirus situation is tamer by July.
There are also other senior leaders working on helping the class of 2020 receive these activities. ASB President Meredith Olney is taking on the project. Olney explained, “The district council of ASB Presidents came together at the School Board’s request to come up with an action plan. Everyone on the council really wanted to have the opportunity to have an in-person graduation rather than a virtual or online commencement ceremony. We had a survey that was sent out to schools, and it also reflected the same answer.”
Olney continued, “We requested that there be a celebration of some sort on June 9 (our original graduation date) and that we plan for an in-person or socially distant graduation sometime in July or August, if it is safe to do so.”
“The senior celebration will include an online piece celebrating/highlighting our seniors,” said Olivero.
ASB Vice President Natalie Perez is also working on these activities. She shared, “We’re trying our best to give our seniors the experience they deserve since every other senior event was canceled. Since we’re still not sure what we can do, we’re working with the guidelines we have to follow due to the circumstances.”
As a senior herself, Perez understands what everyone is feeling. “We just want everyone to feel like they’re still getting this experience and not missing out,” stated Perez. Just so things don’t get bland, the senior leaders are trying to make sure everything is unique. Olney explained, “We are still working out the details as to what the celebration on June 9 will look like but it will not mimic a graduation ceremony of any kind so it isn’t repetitive.”