This year’s homecoming dance dilemma


AnaBelle Harris, Staff Writer

This school year, Upper School students are allowed to take off their masks outside and are able to sit within six feet of one another. There are many other schools who opened up this year as well and they were able to host Homecoming dances, even if they operated completely remotely last year. So why did LJCDS not have a homecoming dance, despite fully operating for most of last school year and implementing less strict masking policies this year?

When I spoke to Dr. Clouser, she said that since homecoming is so early in the year, they were not comfortable having a dance so close to 2020, “the COVID-19 year.” Instead of having a homecoming dance, LJCDs students participated in the routine Pep Rally that occurs during the school day. This year, the Pep Rally took place outdoors on the football field instead of inside the gym, due to COVID-19 safety. That evening, the football team beat Crawford High School and there as a tailgate with food trucks and games to accompany. The dance’s timing did not allocate enough time for planning an event. This is reasonable explanation for not having a homecoming dance, but many other private and public schools have hosted dances, both last school year and this school year, and these dances did not result in a COVID-19 breakout. 

Point Loma High School, for example, only sold a certain amount of tickets to remain proper distance between students and a safe capacity. There would only be a certain number of people in the gym or in the designated area. LJCDS could have implemented a similar policy. Along with restricted ticket sales, LJCDS could have not allowed students attending other high schools to buy tickets and attend our homecoming dance. Mission Hills High School prevented any outside high schoolers from buying tickets. San Marcos High School was slightly more lenient and allowed outside students to buy tickets, as long as they were attending the dance with a current student at San Marcos High School. Any invited guests were required to fill out a form with parent signatures, the Head of School’s signature their own signature, and the signature of the student who invited them. 

I was also told that we could not have a homecoming dance because such dances occur off-campus. In the past, we have hosted dances at hotels or nightclubs in San Diego, with Downtown being a common location. Dr. Clouser said the gym would be inadequate location due to its size. Our high school doesn’t have the largest student body, and, considering not every student will attend a dance, I can image an on-campus location would work. Students would have to ponder whether they would prefer an on-campus dance, where perhaps the quality of the event did not compare to an outside venue, if it meant having a homecoming dance at all. 

Also, both Point Loma High School and La Jolla High School held their dances outside while also making it mandatory for students to wear masks at all times. The outdoor location would reduce the possibility COVID-19 would be spread among students, and, with masking, unvaccinated and vaccinated students alike would be protected from any illness.