BY EMMA HUERTA
On the early afternoon of Friday, January 22, CCHS senior students and parents alike were flabbergasted at a notification on their screens. “2/1/21! Save the date!” read the caption, as was published on the Class of 2021 Instagram, CCHS Class of 2021 Celebration Facebook group and Class of 2021 Remind.
The secret announcement was kept confidential until a Canvas announcement via the CCHS Student Info page was released by Class of 2021 sponsor Nicole Hicks.
“Come for the day. Come for the week. Come for the rest of your SENIOR YEAR—WE MISS YOU!” Hicks said in the announcement.
With this message, it was revealed that the Class of 2021 team—including Hicks and the Student Government Association (SGA) officers—were planning a senior kickoff. The event is a way to welcome CCHS seniors to come to school in-person if possible, as well as commemorate the final stretch of their high school careers.
“Come for the day. Come for the week. Come for the rest of your SENIOR YEAR—WE MISS YOU!”Class of 2021 sponsor Nicole Hicks
“[The Class of 2021 team] were all in [Principal Vera] Perkovic’s office and we were all just saying how we miss seniors on campus. Then we thought, ‘Well, maybe we can think of a fun way that could interest some seniors in coming,’” Class of 2021 President Victoria Pera said. “We thought of the day February 1 for the play on words: 2/1/21. SGA is assisting in all decorating and promoting it out to our seniors.”
These announcements, as well as a video by Cowboy Television (CTV), urged seniors to “restart” an atypical final year with as much spirit as possible, whether in virtual or face-to-face school. A Microsoft Forms survey was sent out to seniors interested in returning to school on February 1 and was due by January 29. Regardless of each senior’s decision, the kickoff is encouraging students to wear their senior shirts, crowns and other gear to celebrate their final moments as Cowboys. Prize drawings for students both on- and off-campus are being conducted as well.
“SGA as a whole and myself wish to help aid in making this an event to remember. We are sad for our seniors but are also still trying our hardest to make sure there are memories to keep,” SGA President Emily Aaron said. “Having the class officers work with us to make this happen was an amazing experience in itself. I hope that providing events and other senior opportunities will help make everyone’s senior year a little extra special!”
As with any event nowadays that involves gatherings, a concern for possible coronavirus spreading arises with the 2/1/21 event. Seniors who plan to return to on-campus classes keep this in mind when making their decision.
“My biggest hope is the proper handling of COVID, to be honest,” senior Sabrina Rapoport said. “The only thing that has prevented me from going back has been the rapid increase of cases, more specifically in Broward County. It’ll be nice to see people again, but the idea of 2/1/21 being a super spreader event is terrifying.”
However, like sports games and other socially distanced school events occurring this year, precautions are in place to protect students, faculty and staff, especially as more students are expected to return to school for the kickoff.
“My biggest hope is the proper handling of COVID, to be honest.”Senior Sabrina Rapoport
“While on campus, the expectation is for everyone to continue to follow safety guidelines,” Hicks said. “We will remind students that are returning what the expectations are.”
Whether celebrated in-person or virtually, the 2/1/21 kickoff event is a way for seniors to try and experience some final festivities before they leave CCHS.
“Life is all about memories,” math teacher Michelle Harding said. “If I was a senior graduating in 2021, I would remember the lockdown of March 2020, social distancing being the new normal and eLearning. I would also want to remember the last time I stepped foot on the grounds of Cooper City High School and saw my friends. Knowing that we are still in the midst of a pandemic, I would want to walk the halls of Cooper and see my friends, classroom[s] and teachers one last time.”
Photo by Sasheen Joseph