From Mr. Mack

I thought I would share a little of the discussion regarding hosting a homecoming dance.  I appreciate the maturity and representation that our Student Council members provide, however, I do have concerns for the current idea to move the homecoming dance away from a school sponsored activity. Ultimately, I believe our students should have voice, therefore, I will respect their final decision ...but not without expressing my concerns.

Here's the a portion of the email I sent to the sponsors to share for all student members at the September 9th Student Council meeting:

The Superintendent agrees with me that there are many benefits to hosting a dance so we could 'control' the environment better than having the students attend an off campus dance.  With that, we want to communicate that we would host a dance if PPHD permits, perhaps an outdoor venue, but face masks would be expected to be worn.  If the students choose to do their own thing off campus, we can't control that but they would not access Stu Co funds for their event.
Personally, I feel a dance puts many people at risk of contracting or spreading the virus. One concern is mass quarantine, which could negatively impact an activity season. But, ultimately we'd follow PPHD guidelines which currently allow for dances for 'rostered' attendances. They list 'prom' as an example of a dance that would be allowed ...at least that's how I read it.
Keep me posted on the discussion at your next meeting. Thanks!Jerry Mack, Principal

At the meeting, the Student Council student members voted 20-1 (with 1 abstaining) to move the homecoming dance off campus to be hosted by parents so that they could attend a dance without the expectations of wearing face masks. 
I've communicated with several panhandle schools who are also trying to make decisions to keep students healthy while providing some traditional homecoming events. At Chadron High School, we feel we can host our pep rally and coronation as traditionally planned under current protocols, just the dance would be impacted by lack of 6' spacing, therefore, creating the expectation to wear face masks to help prevent virus spread and to avoid large groups of quarantines should a student test positive for Covid-19 in the days following the dance. 
The Panhandle Public Health District provided further guidelines the afternoon of Sep. 9th regarding homecoming dances:

    PPHD Dance Considerations

Required: 

·         Guest List - Name and phone number

Highly Recommended:

·         Require Masks

·         The refreshment area allows for 6-foot social distancing

·         Large dance space

·         Symptom Screening

Good Idea:

·         Only allow students from your school

·         Consider a safe alternative to a dance example, a socially distanced movie

Author: 
Mr. Mack