The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and as the seniors’ time as San Marcos students comes to a close, many senior celebrations will take place. Sadly, last year’s prom was canceled due to the first lockdown, and the class of 2020’s graduation was a drive-in. Now, a year later, with more and more people vaccinated each day and our county in the orange tier, the class of 2021 will be able to have in-person prom and graduation— a more traditional senior experience than the class of 2020 was able to have. Having these events in person to reward the seniors’ hard work throughout this challenging year will be exciting, but to ensure maximal safety, there will be certain guidelines that must be followed at both events.
For prom, either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken 72 hours before attending will be required for entry. If you are not yet vaccinated but hope to be before prom, you must get your second shot of a two-dose vaccine, or a single-dose vaccine, no later than May 17th. You will be required to either email your vaccination card to Ms. Andersen, bring it to the office during lunch, or show it at prom before entry. If you are not going to be vaccinated before prom, you must take a COVID test on May 28, and the school will offer on-campus COVID testing for students at the Wellness Center on that date from 1-2 p.m. If you want to be tested there, you must bring a parent consent form and register online. Although the CDC has announced that it is safe for vaccinated people to be maskless outside, the exception is during large gatherings, so masks will be mandatory.
“Although some people may feel like the COVID safety guidelines and requirements for prom are a hassle or are overbearing,” said Senior Class President Andrea Lising, “I wholeheartedly feel that they are very necessary to ensure the safety of our students.”
As for graduation, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test will be required as well. Those who are planning on being vaccinated before graduation must receive their final vaccination shot by May 19th, and students who will not be vaccinated in time for graduation must be tested on either May 30th or May 31st. Although the school will not be offering testing on campus, many places such as County Public Health and Cottage Hospital offer free walk-in tests. Since each student will be allowed four guests, those guests must be tested or vaccinated by those dates as well.
There is also the possibility of our county moving from the orange tier to the yellow tier before the events take place. To transition into the yellow tier, we would have to have less than two cases per 100k daily, but in the event that this does happen, there would be changes in guidelines for both events. The maximum number of people allowed at prom would increase from 300 to 400, and proof of vaccination or testing may not even be required at graduation. Even though we are all hopeful that we will reach the yellow tier soon, nothing is for certain and so it is best to keep an eye on announcements for any updates.
The Planning Process
Of course, prom would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the Senior ASB officers.
“It was difficult figuring out what we wanted to do for prom at first because currently dancing isn’t allowed, but I feel really happy with the idea we came up with,” said Senior Class Vice President Bianca Ortiz. “Planning has been fun, and everyone in ASB has been super helpful!”
San Marcos’ Administration has also played a pivotal role in organizing both events.
“We’re going to do everything we can to give our seniors the best experience possible,” said assistant principal Dr. Analese Alvarez. “On my end, that requires a lot of work, but I don’t care because this senior class deserves to have the best we can give them.”
Overall, in-person prom and graduation will undoubtedly be a great experience for seniors after such an unusual year, but it is crucial that safety guidelines are followed to keep everyone safe. You can scan the QR codes below to access the Senior Letter which has further information, and be sure to keep an eye out for updates and announcements.
“I know a lot of people, myself included, were devastated at the idea of graduating online and missing out on our big senior dance,” said Andrea Lising. “Even though both events will look different than in years past, I hope people will keep an open mind when going into them, and know that so much hard work has gone into putting on each event.”
Senior Letter (English): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SjscvKogMSjPYkmmpqJgt6IZYYgB0X7WVHBnZcy4ehY/edit
Senior Letter (Spanish): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rfJWJONdpQpYrAoaU5cwsgORNRTCdgGNYy9nxNyVX7c/edit
Noelle is a freshman at San Marcos High School…