SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – District officials are currently ironing out the final details on a variety of ways to celebrate South Plainfield High School's Class of 2021.
"Last year, when the pandemic hit, our Class of 2020 at least got to be in school until March, so they had some of the experiences that they normally would during their senior year," said Superintendent Dr. Noreen Tansey Lishak during an in-person board of education meeting Feb. 17. "The Class of 2021 has really been short-changed in every way possible."
In January, resident Chere Glover, whose daughter Gianna is a senior, spoke out in support of the senior class and requested the district look into ways to recognize the students despite the current healthcare crisis. Glover followed up during the Feb. 17 meeting, calling in to inquire about what is being planned.
Tansey Lishak stated that she, along with high school administrators and senior advisors have been working out the details for several events, including an outdoor and socially distanced photo shoot on Jost Field, a senior scavenger hunt, and a breakfast at the high school. The mayor and borough council, she said, have also 'generously offered' the South Plainfield Community Pool facility for a Class of 2021 party and barbecue luncheon. Additionally, seniors will also receive their traditional 'Class of 2021' T-shirts and congratulatory lawn signs will once again be distributed.
In terms of a senior prom, the superintendent stated that it will be difficult to find an open venue to host the event due to the number of rescheduled weddings from 2020. However, said Tansey Lishak, other alternatives are being explored, including the possibility of holding a 'prom like' event on school property.
"This is just what we have planned so far and that is only the beginning," said Tansey Lishak, noting that parents of current high school seniors will receive information on all these events via email.
"I wasn’t expecting that. You ran down a list of seven or eight items planned, and I really appreciate the effort and time that went into all of that," said Glover, adding that senior parents want to be involved and do whatever they can do to help support the class.
In addition to what is being planned by the district, members of the community are also joining together to ensure the students are recognized. Last week, an 'Adopt a Senior - Class of 2021' initiative was launched. Through the private Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/groups/144050450817434/?notif_id=1614265749008637¬if_t=group_invited_to_group&ref=notif), parents are encouraged to post a photo and description of their senior for a member of the community to 'adopt.' The goal is for each of the 288 students who make up South Plainfield High School's Class of 2021 to be adopted.
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