Being a high school senior in the time of COVID-19 can leave many students at a loss of what is to come. Fortunately, Tatanisha Lewis, Cass Technical High School teacher and 2021 senior sponsor, has provided some insight on what we can expect.
Before COVID-19, a typical senior year would include homecoming, a pep rally, cap and gown measurements that would take place during lunch, Grammy auditions followed by the Grammys, Grammys after party, pinning ceremony, battle of the classes, senior clearance, prom, and then finally graduation.
Barbara Moore, class of 2018 senior sponsor said, “It was a celebration of you all -- it was a way for you guys to come together as one and celebrate those milestones.”
COVID-19 has impacted the ability to plan events normally. Mandated restrictions by the state of Michigan that prohibit large groups and gatherings are still being implemented. These restrictions do not mean that the senior events will be cancelled, it simply means that things must be done differently.
Lewis said she wants the seniors to know that they can still make their senior year as successful as possible.
“These will be our memories, so let’s make the best out of this situation," Lewis said. "I want students to stop focusing on what they can’t do, and instead focus on what they can do. I know it’s different, but we can still do things and have fun."
Cass Tech is also hoping to bring a new event for the seniors. Senior Jayla Blanding presented the idea of having a virtual marketplace for the seniors.
“In addition to prom and graduation, we are currently planning a virtual Grammy's and CT Marketplace," Lewis said. "The Marketplace will be a virtual platform where CT's entrepreneurs can showcase and advertise their businesses."
Lewis said she encourages all seniors to turn their cameras on in class as often as possible. Interactions between students and teachers can make a positive impact on senior year and make the day a little more brighter during these trying times. Seniors who engage virtually more often can have a more memorably senior experience. She also encourages seniors to attend all the virtual events being held.
“Don’t think of your senior year as being canceled but see it as being different,” said Ms. Lewis.
“Lastly, what I want the class of 2021 to know is ... someone once said, ‘Winners don’t do different things, but they do things differently'. The class of 2021 had an entire year of practice in doing things differently, so I know they are prepared to win.”