Seniors want fourth quarter events, district says no plans have been made

Seniors+gather+at+the+class+of+2017+graduation.+In+the+past%2C+graduation+was+held+at+Perry%27s+football+stadium%2C+but+the+ceremony+has+since+been+moved+to+ASU.+This+year%2C+seniors+ponder+how+graduation+will+be+held+in+the+midst+of+social+distancing.

Madi Kimball

Seniors gather at the class of 2017 graduation. In the past, graduation was held at Perry’s football stadium, but the ceremony has since been moved to ASU. This year, seniors ponder how graduation will be held in the midst of social distancing.

Ever since Gov. Doug Ducey closed Arizona schools through the remainder of the school year, seniors across the state have been mourning their last year in high school and wondering whether or not their fourth quarter events will ever come to fruition.

Seton Catholic answered this question for their senior class with an Instagram post on April 26. Videos of students council members announced that events like prom would be rescheduled throughout the month of June for Seton students.

This seems like a simple solution to the issue. However, for Chandler students, rescheduling fourth quarter activities will not prove to be as easy. 

One roadblock? The district has previously explained that if one high school holds a senior event, every other high school in the district will need to provide the same experience. For example, if Perry holds a physical prom, say, in July, Hamilton, Basha, and all of the other high schools will need to provide a physical prom for their students as well. This brings up the issue of staffing these events, getting security and venues, as well as producing funding. 

A second roadblock is the state of the epidemic. As of April 29, Gov. Ducey has extended a modified version of the state’s social distancing policy until May 15 in an executive order. Prior to this development, the district posted an announcement on their website claiming “all school related events… with the exception of graduation,” will be canceled. 

CUSD has been basing all of their decisions off of the Governor’s updates and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, Dr. Craig Gilbert, stated that the district is currently waiting to “receive guidance regarding social distancing from the Governor.” He did clarify however that no plans have been made to move senior events to June.

CUSD Spokesperson, Terry Locke, explained that the district is “exploring all options.” Meanwhile, seniors have made it clear that if fourth quarter events were rescheduled, they would in fact attend. 100 percent of Pumas polled on Instagram said they would attend rescheduled events, and 70 percent of those polled on Twitter echoed these same results.

It is clear that seniors are eager to get the chance to finish off their high school careers with fourth quarter events. The district will have to make the final call on if that will happen, and what it will look like.