After an unusual school year start due to COVID-19, Deerfield school administrators hope to keep many of the district’s end of the school year traditions alive.
Administrators shared their plans for the last month of school at an April 26 school board meeting. While events may have to be altered for safety, principals say many standard year-end events will happen.
“We are trying really hard at all building levels to make sure we can have as many of those end-of-the-year rituals and celebrations as possible,” Superintendent Michelle Jensen said. Students and staff are “happy to be back together and sharing in all of those,” Jensen said.
Jensen said Deerfield High School will likely hold an outdoor graduation ceremony on June 6 at 1 p.m.
Usually. graduation is held in the DHS gym, but Jensen said an outdoor ceremony in the John Polzin stadium would allow students to invite more guests.
“It will be a really great opportunity for us,” Jensen said. “A really unique tradition.”
Board member Shelley Mack said the school hasn’t held an outdoor graduation since 1988.
“We realized that some of the standard traditions during a graduation might not be able to happen quite like they have, because they have been so hands-on with the community,” Deerfield High School Principal Brett Jacobson said. But “a lot of the seniors are getting creative” with ways to celebrate, he added.
Jacobson said plans for an altered Prom have been set. Juniors and seniors will have a formal catered meal under a tent at Deerfield High School on May 22.
The junior and senior classes will each have a grand march. The junior grand march is at 7 p.m., and the senior class will enter at 7:30 p.m. Dinner is at 8 p.m.
There will also be a post-Prom bonfire, similar to the bonfire usually held during homecoming. It will be open to all DHS students from 9-10 p.m.
Jacobson said administrators have been working with DHS juniors and seniors to plan the event. Students opted for a meal instead of a dance.
“They were excited to be a little bit more hands-on,” Jacobson said.
Deerfield Elementary School principal Melinda Kamrath said plans are in motion to hold some walking field trips, mini-concerts for music classes and a sixth-grade graduation before the end of the school year.
Kamrath said the annual tradition of the senior walk, where DHS seniors revisit Deerfield Elementary School and receive a send-off from the district’s youngest students, will also happen in some form.