Burlington High School’s Senior Night Under the Stars event has been canceled or postponed, at least for now.
During Tuesday evening’s School Committee meeting, Student Representative Sara Shaikh updated the committee about the state of the event.
“The Senior Night event got canceled or postponed due to concern over guidelines for COVID health,” she said. “It was supposed to be a senior night for us to come to Varsity Field to take some photos and play some games but it was not approved by the Board of Health.”
Superintendent Eric Conti said that, after speaking with Principal Mark Sullivan earlier that day, he believes the event is more likely postponed than canceled. He also clarified that the Board of Health and Health Director Susan Lumenello have worked very closely with the schools and were in touch with the state about the event and it was the state guidelines that prompted the decision to hold off on the event at this time.
“I don’t think it will be something we can’t do,” he said. “I think the Board of Health has been very supportive so I just want to make sure we’re not saying that they canceled it. I think we just have to make sure that what we’re planning follows guidelines so we’re working with the Board of Health and I think we can have a very successful event.”
He also said the state is changing the COVID-19 guidelines starting on May 29 that will see fewer restrictions on outdoor gatherings. Currently they are considering the week before the June 6 graduation ceremony.
“I’m hoping we can get more information out as soon as we can,” he said. “We’re doing the best we can and we certainly want you to have a successful event with all of your classmates.”
School Committee member Martha Simon said some parents have questioned why other districts have been going through with proms or prom-like events.
Member Christine Monaco said that while the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is advising against such events, they haven’t outright banned them.
Superintendent Conti added that from what he has heard some districts are working around the 150 people gathering limit by having either multiple events with students attending different sessions or staggering the students to attend the prom at different times throughout the night.
“Mr. Sullivan did not want to break up the class and after May 29 they could have the whole class at one event,” he said.