Winter formal sparks many questions


Noelle Erslovas

The poster for the Winter Formal hangs in the quad, but the date has been cut out because of the dance being postponed.

The Winter Formal was set to happen when students returned from winter break, but unforeseen circumstances postponed it for several months. With a surge in COVID-19 cases, students and faculty were questioning whether to keep the dance set for its original date or push it back for the attendee’s safety.

Mainly due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Carlmont has had over 280 new cases since the return to school from winter break. This is according to the Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) COVID-19 dashboard. This spike raised concerns among the staff and students about the safety of Carlmont’s students. 

The Associated Student Body (ASB) and Carlmont staff decided to postpone the Winter Formal from its original date, Jan. 22, to a much later and hopefully permanent date, March 4. Jim Kelly, the ASB teacher, sent out an email to students explaining the protocols put into place for the formal.

The Fox Theater in Redwood City, where previous Winter Formals have taken place. (New Sequoia Theater Building / Sanfranman59 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0)

The formal is still set to occur at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, where previous Winter Formals have been. Jacob Young, a sophomore, feels saddened but still hopeful for the dance.

“I was extremely excited to meet with all my friends for formal, but because the dance was pushed back, I’m going to have to wait a bit longer to experience that,” Young said.

The administration will require students to either be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test within 48 hours of the dance to attend this dance. More information is said to come soon, and many students see the precautions necessary for the dance. Eric Zhai, a junior, thinks these precautions are a good policy for the safety of students.

“Although I’m not going, being vaccinated or providing a negative COVID-19 test [to go to the dance] is important because if one person is infected, then they can spread it to basically everyone,” Zhai said. 

Being vaccinated or providing a negative COVID-19 test is important because if one person is infected, then they can spread it to basically everyone.”

— Eric Zhai

Since this dance is an event many students look forward to, students may have many emotions regarding this postponing. Leila Velez, a sophomore, shares her feelings towards the formal being postponed.

“I have been a little worried about the surge in COVID-19 cases since we’ve come back from break, so although I’m a little sad that it’s being pushed back, I am relieved to know that the school took the time to think about what might happen if the formal took place in January,” Velez said.

Although some students feel anticipation for whether Winter Formal will eventually occur, others aren’t as concerned by its occurrence. Bondet Batsford, a sophomore, isn’t as interested in attending the dance for different reasons.

“I’m not very concerned about the Winter Formal being postponed because I’m not going either way. The main reason is because it’s too expensive,” Batsford said.

Even though not every student sees this dance as the most fantastic idea, it is still a special event to many. It gives people the opportunity to catch a break and experience the rare occurrence of an exciting event during these times. While the safety of the students is, of course, a top priority, the administration will do the best they can to make sure that Winter Formal is more than just an idea this year.

“Besides prom, formal is one of those dances where you get the chance to dress up nice and have some special experiences. But, I’m ok with it being pushed back because I’d rather have the sureness of our safety first and the fun aspect second,” Velez said.