Suburban schools turn sports fields into homecoming dance floors for COVID safety
OAK LAWN, Ill. - Sports spots are transforming into dance floors as suburban schools plan to hold homecomings anywhere from tennis courts to football fields.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many to think creatively and that's certainly the case at Richards High School in Oak Lawn.
The school's homecoming dance was canceled last year because of COVID-19, so to allow students to enjoy this milestone safely this year, the school is hosting it outside on the tennis courts.
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Principal Mike Jacobson expects about 600 students so there will be a number of safety precautions in place.
Kids will have to wear masks at all times, even when dancing.
They have to maintain three feet of social-distancing and to help with that, they will be assigned certain zones on the tennis courts.
Students are allowed to bring guests from other schools however, those students will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 24-hours in order to get in.
The school had a pep rally Friday there was a lot of excitement surrounding Saturday's dance.
Jacobson estimates that a majority of students are already vaccinated and says there will be triple the amount of chaperons to help enforce these COVID rules.
"People keep saying kids are resilient and they are, but they're also not fully formed. They also are social beings. They also need to know who they are and a lot of that is done socially, so while it's true they're resilient and they're young and if you take a dance away it's not the end of the world, we do really want these kids to have a sense that this is a normal high school experience for them. And the community and people my age owe these kids to at least have an experience that was similar to ours."
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Richards isn't the only high school that's getting creative this year. Lemont High School will host its homecoming dance on its football field on Oct. 2.
Ladies will need to get creative with their outfits because no high heels are allowed on the tennis courts or footballs fields.