This year, amidst the pandemic, the Healthy Deerfield Team and the Student Planning Committee have planned various activities including Spring Day, Koch Friday Concert, and the Alliance Block Party, hoping to restore a sense of normalcy.
Heather Brown, the Associate Director of the Center for Service and Global Citizenship and a part of the Healthy Deerfield team, said “it has been a priority all year round to implement a spring program that is interesting, engaging and prioritizes COVID precautions.”
The Healthy Deerfield Team and the Student Life Office have held frequent policy meetings to ensure that all the activities adhere to Massachusetts state guidelines and that the rules are consistent across all academic, athletic, and student-life programs.
Masking and testing regulations have remained the same throughout the year, and the Healthy Team utilized previous experience to normalize and improve upon future events. For example, the Silent Rave, held on two different nights during the winter term, helped inspire the simultaneous upperclassmen and underclassmen semi-formal dances that took place this spring. A successful visitation program has also paved the way for more spring activities. Additionally, the warm spring weather enables the school to hold most activities outside, lowering transmission rates. “Every meeting, we discuss how close to normal we can get, and we’re getting closer and closer,” said Mr. Barbato.
As of now, the school has successfully run a wide variety of activities. Arabic Night was held on the 14th of May, followed by the Alliance Block Party and Scream on the Green. On the 15th, TEDxDeerfield was held from 6 pm to 9 pm, and Deerfield also hosted Next Level Gaming and Just Dance.
The much-anticipated Spring Day, planned for the 26th of May, — which returning students missed last year — will feature dunk tanks, music, food trucks, ice cream vendors, bungee courses, blowup slip and slides, kiddie pools with water guns, and five or six obstacles courses.
Although the possibility of a bouncy castle is still up for debate, Mr. Barbato said that he’s “going to push the limits, and hopefully we’ll have the same energy as a usual year.” As the day winds to an end, Mr. Barbato expects the students to trickle to the upper-level fields, where the SPC will set up a stage for KFC.
Ms. Brown and Mr. Barbato have promised that Senior Prom, Senior Cry, Senior Skip-Day, and Step-Up will be “the same as they have been.” They have also reassured all that such events are at the top of the team’s current priority.
Typical Deerfield traditions might feel different with social distancing. Mr. Barbato believes there is “always going to be a tradeoff, but the ultimate goal is for students to have a good experience. The more we embrace the guidelines, the less stifling the precautions will feel.”
As school comes to a close, he urges students to come out “with your friends and bring the energy,” even hinting at the possibility of other future activities “that will keep you on your toes.”