Williamstown High School is excited to get back to traditions like field trips, plays and proms after so many events were cancelled last year because of COVID-19
“It is tradition and I think it is really important to honor that,” said Superintendent Dr. Susan Ficke of the events. “When we talk about educating a child, the social aspect is a big piece. Schools are instituted for socialization, and these events have a big impact on the mental and emotional health of our students.”
The high school started its spring events with a performance of the play “Theory of Relativity” that drew more than 75 families to three nights of performances in the school courtyard. Costumes and props were scaled down to limit possible contact points.
The school also invited two family members per student to the National Honor Society induction ceremony on April 22. Eleven students were welcomed into the society with classmates and families on hand at the football field.
The school is now preparing for the junior and senior prom, the powderpuff game and day trips for the graduating class.
“Our events are important; that’s what makes our students well-rounded,” said Ficke.
Although the superintendent and the district now await an April 29 announcement from Gov. Phil Murphy on raising outdoor gathering numbers, plans are in motion. The powderpuff flag football game for junior and senior girls is slated to take place on May 7. Ficke is hopeful seniors will be able to invite a family member or two to the game.
The senior prom will take place rain or shine on May 27 at the Estates at Monroe, with plans for both indoor and outdoor settings at the venue. With current limitations of 200 people outside and 150 people inside, there should be enough space for 350 seniors out of a total of 450. Masks and social distancing will be required.
“We talked to our police officers and brought it up to the attorney general, and basically they told us we have the ‘golden ticket,’” said Ficke. “We can have the 200 outside and the 150 inside and that brings us up to 350. The fact that we can have 350 out of roughly 450, I think, positions us really well.”
The month of June will be a busy one. In the first week, seniors will take day trips to the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, Adventure Sports in Jackson Township and Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. According to Ficke, there are plans in place to keep students safe, including an option for students 16 or older to get vaccinated at the Gloucester County Mega Site.
An academic-award ceremony for the graduating class will take place on June 1 at Catering by Masso’s.
The junior class has its own events planned for the end of the year, including a prom outside the Camden Aquarium on June 6 and a day trip to Wildwood on June 14. Ficke is hopeful outdoor gathering limits will be raised for the events, as well as for graduation. Preparations are being made for graduation on June 16 and for a senior picnic that morning. How many can attend and how the day will look are subject to change.
“It gives our community hope,” said the superintendent. “We have been measured, prudent and successful, and it would be great to finish the year strong.”
The district has reverted to a full-day, in person schedule four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Students still have the option to remain remote through the end of the year.