Note to BASD: Enough has been taken from our kids | News, Sports, Jobs

Note to BASD: Enough has been taken from our kids | News, Sports, Jobs

For area high school students, the 2020-21 school year has been anything but normal.

Masks, social distancing, remote learning, limited extra curricular activities and infrequent closures have become the norm.

As the school year begins to wind down, the Class of 2021 prepares for their final days in high school.

At Bellefonte Area High School, students, parents and families are still waiting to find out if there will be a Senior Ball and a traditional graduation.

The Class of 2020 had none of that. When schools throughout the Commonwealth closed in mid-March, extra curriculars and spring sports were cancelled, as was the Senior Ball. Graduation at Bellefonte was anything but traditional. In June of 2020, students drove up to the high school, picked up their diplomas and posed for a photo on a makeshift stage.

Now, the Class of 2021 wonders if it will have the same fate. While all four other Centre County schools — Bald Eagle Area, Penns Valley, Philipsburg-Osceola and Penns Valley — have announced plans for their respective Senior Proms, Bellefonte has not. In the Keystone Central School District, superintendent Jacquelyn Martin has announced that the district will indeed have traditional graduation for seniors in Bucktail and Central Mountain’s Class of 2021.

Bellefonte should follow the leads of the schools in the area.

Superintendent Tammie Burnaford, who recently had the “interim” tag removed from her title, has given little to no indication what plans are in the works for Bellefonte’s Class of 2021.

At a school board meeting on March 23, Burnaford announced that the seniors would get a one-day senior trip to Hersheypark. However, she was vague about the more critical activities.

“There’s been talk of a prom and a ball and those things … nothing has been ruled out, whatsoever,” Burnaford said.

Sorry, but that’s not good enough. A Senior Ball cannot be thrown together overnight. A DJ needs to be hired, gowns…

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