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Some hope for senior activities

courtesy photo

Teachers and staff cheer as seniors in the class of 2020 pick up their caps and gowns in May. Students last year did not have a traditional graduation because of the coronavirus.

SNN Staff Writers

After much disappointment around the cancelation of last year’s prom and senior activities, the current senior class is hoping this year’s celebrations can still be a go.

The Lakewood administration announced this week on Canvas the tentative upcoming dates for Spirit Week, Grad Bash, prom, senior week and graduation. The dates have been set, but the final confirmation on whether it is safe to hold each event must come from the district, principal Erin Savage said.

“Everything is dependent on the CDC (guidelines) and Department of Health,” she said.

Spirit Week is now set for March 8-12. It was originally scheduled for the fall during Homecoming week but was cancelled due to COVID-19. Themes for each day have not yet been chosen.

Senior Week, which normally includes a movie on the lawn, cap and gown fitting, ice cream social and a breakfast, is scheduled for April 19-23.

As for Grad Bash, the final decision will also come from the school district. With plans to be held at Universal, it is currently scheduled for April 24 from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. There is much anticipation for this end of year event, and hopes are high that seniors will be able to participate in the annual activities.

“Everything we’re doing is in the name of safety. I don’t want to be the person responsible for a student getting sick,” senior class sponsor Chantella Moore said.

Prom is set for May 28, but it won’t be a normal prom: There will be social distancing, probably no dance floor or DJ. There will be prepackaged snacks and a more sit-down focused form of entertainment, like a group game. It will be held at the St. Pete Beach Community Center, the same location where last year’s dance had been scheduled, although there is some talk of an outdoor venue.

It is math teacher Sarah Francis’ first year heading the prom committee, and it comes during COVID-19, so she said she is a bit nervous about the turnout but wants the current seniors to have a great prom experience.

“I'm going to do a good job of it. I don't care. I'll figure it out. It's my first year with everything that's going on, but I'm confident,” she said.

Even though it won’t be like years’ past, Francis said she cares deeply for the success of this year’s dance.

“I'm especially thinking about seniors who this is your only chance at prom. That's why I want to make sure it's good,” Francis said. 

If you are interested in helping to plan prom or have any suggestions, you can speak with Francis in room B107.

The dates for the graduation ceremony have been confirmed for June 3 at 1 p.m. at Tropicana Field.  Graduation is the top priority for the administration and masks will be required. Savage said we should know by early March if it will be safe to hold graduation.

“We plan the calendar as though we're going to have it. Then we wait; that's the hard part,” Savage said.

Seniors must complete a form and submit a request for their diplomas by Jan. 29. The diploma request form is electronic and can be found in the Senior Teams Group.  The official Lakewood cap and gown must be worn during the ceremony. The order form is electronic and also can be found in the Senior Teams Group.  

Seniors also should be getting their senior fees paid. This year they are $120. Bookkeeper Natalie Bostic said seniors can pay their fees on the Lakewood High School website with a credit card or see class sponsor Moore during lunch time in the auditorium. The fees go toward senior activities, including payment to Tropicana Field, caps, gowns and tassels, senior week activities and diplomas. If students need to set up a payment plan, they should see Moore.

Senior Robert Hopkins said he is hoping all of these events will actually happen.

“Watching upperclassmen as freshmen and sophomores and even juniors made everything look so fun, and it sucks not getting that light at the end of the tunnel, (a) reward for making it through hell,” he said.

Here are all the important – though tentative - dates to mark on your calendar:

  • Spirit Week: March 8-12
  • Senior Week: April 19-23
  • Grad Bash21: April 24, 2021 7 p.m.-2 a.m.
  • Prom: May 28
  • AP Exam: May 3-14
  • Senior Exams: May 25-28
  • Graduation Ceremony: June 3 at 1 p.m.

- Staff Writers Ja’Shanna Lyons and Jonyeisha Thomas contributed to this story.