By Brendan Connelly, Online News Editor
// While Homecoming week in April is virtually unheard of, Acalanes High School intends to maintain the hallway decorating tradition and give students the opportunity to celebrate despite COVID-19.
As a part of this Homecoming tradition, students in all grades decorated the hallways on Monday, adding specific elements to each hallway to fit the theme of each grades’ decade.
The sophomore theme is the 1970s, the seniors are the 1980s, the juniors are the 1990s, and the freshman are the 2000s. Students had the opportunity to paint, use chalk, hang paper, and more to decorate the halls following their respective themes.
“I did a lot of poster making and taping stuff to the walls. In the other grades’ halls, I saw a lot of cardboard cutouts of stuff from their decades, a lot of chalk of pictures, and sayings from popular culture as well. The thing I saw most grades doing was covering the walls with paper in the color scheme of each decade,” junior Mika Eloyan said.
In order to accommodate as many students as possible and follow COVID-19 guidelines, students signed up in advance for one of two slots: noon to 2:00 p.m. and 2:15 to 4:30 p.m. All students had to take the COVID-19 screening protocol prior to participating.
“It got a little crowded at times, but everyone had masks on, and you had to do a covid screening test beforehand, so I think it was safe,” Eloyan said.
Decorating provided the opportunity for many students to connect with one another across cohorts, especially with students in Cohort C, Acalanes’ distance learning cohort.
“Hallway decorating is not only a fun tradition but also a time to connect more with our community, specifically school community, find more friends, get to know each other better and further improve our skills and to come out of our shells,” sophomore Hanna Mirazi said.
Despite the unique circumstances, this year’s hallway decorating experience was very similar to previous years.
“I think it was very very normal and actually was exactly the same this year, with the only difference being the masks. I think we were able to do everything normally and use the same supplies as we would a normal year,” senior Emilia Gutman said.
In total, there were approximately 160 sign-ups, some of which included people participating in both time slots. Many of the participants were leadership students.
“I think there were about 30 people there during my shift and more were showing up for the second shift. It felt like a pretty normal-sized group,” Gutman said.
Overall, despite the pandemic, students continue to have the opportunity to take part in many Homecoming traditions, and hallway decorating is a pivotal part of that.
“I think that hallway decorating is such a fun bonding activity and allows people to be creative and be together. I think it is super important because it allows for a break in school to have some fun. I also think the whole week of homecoming is super fun and very important,” Gutman said.