The typical high school experience is making its steady come back since the beginning of September. Football games are in full swing, with hundreds of students packing the stands every week. This welcomes in the desire to share the last night of the football season with fellow peers for the homecoming dance. After COVID-19 hit Camas with full force, CHS Homecoming and Prom were canceled last school year. Students, eager to go back on the dancefloor, waited patiently for an answer to the question, “will there even be a homecoming this year?”
Earlier this semester, things looked dismal for the possibility of a homecoming dance. Associate Principal, Owen Sanford said, “The thought was trying to make it a little later in the fall to give us a chance for things to settle down and get figured out.” However as fall steadily approached, the COVID-19 climate only worsened.
“Numbers climbed over the late summer and assemblies and homecoming, paused, at most we were thinking a homecoming event of some sort like a movie night, games, something like that,” Sanford said.
Oct 23 marks the calendar as the day set for the homecoming dance. “A Night in Hollywood” will be the first homecoming dance in almost two years. Even with this warm return, the event will look entirely different from those of years past.
The process to even jumpstart homecoming took many weeks of cross-examination to evaluate the safety of a school dance.
Sanford said, “we started to talk to some other schools and the [COVID-19] numbers, I think might be plateauing a little bit and people are wanting to allow students to have some social events and gathering and coming together.”
Schools around the Camas area planned their homecomings weeks before Camas made their decision. Skyview, Mountain View, Vancouver, Hudson’s Bay, Washougal, Battleground, and Prarie, all those schools are dancing outside.
Sanford and ASB wanted to provide CHS the same experiences as surrounding schools.
“We found out more and more about what other schools do in the area and lobbied for the same opportunity for CHS students, and we’re dancing.”
Homecoming is just about set in stone, however, there are a couple of scenarios that could lead to its cancellation.
“You know if [the COVID-19 numbers] were catastrophic or if there’s a ton of transmission from other dances, that wouldn’t bode well,” Sanford said.
There will be a strict mask policy in place for those who chose to attend the dance, just like daily school expectations.
“That’s why it’s gonna be important for students to wear the mask outside. Regardless of the number of people at the dance, whether it’s one, four hundred, or a thousand,” he said.
CHS does not want to disappoint its student body and cancel this dance, “I hope there’s nothing that would stop us at this point,” Sanford said.
Students can play an active role in ensuring a homecoming.
“Students continuing wearing masks when they’re at the campus will only help too,” he said. “Whatever we can do to kind of keep transmission rates as low as possible.”
If someone came to the dance infected with COVID-19, CHS would fall back on interviewing students to recognize potential close contacts.
“It would be student interviews like with who did you dance with, who did you come to homecoming with, then we would follow the protocol if they’re vaccinated or not, and just go from there,” Sanford said.
All of this is possible from the hard work of ASB advocating for this dance.
“Student leadership working hard to try to make this happen and our listening to students that want to make this happen,” he said. “It’s been cool to see them advocate for their classmates and what everyone wants to do.”
The culmination of ASB’s steady planning and the student body’s anticipation will reach its peak on Oct 23, “A Night in Hollywood” is a well-awaited return to school spirit.