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Events, exams, graduation plans at Homer High: An interview with HHS Principal Waclawski

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Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021 fall on Tuesday, May 18 for Homer High School and Homer Flex School.

Like last year, there will be a caravan of graduates down Pioneer Avenue around 8:30 p.m. after Mariner graduation ceremonies conclude. But this year, plans are to get out of the parking lot and on to the playing field to allow for more guests to attend.

 
Homer High School Principal Doug Waclawski spoke with KBBI's Kathleen Gustafson on Monday afternoon about end of the year activities. 
Waclawski says the staff has a mitigation plan for a full slate of events to round out the year. 

Homer High School and Flex Graduations are on Tuesday, May 18, and the swing choir and band concert in the Mariner Theater is coming up next week on Tuesday, April 13. You can see the complete school calendar on Homer High School's website.  

 
Transcript

 
HHS Principal Waclawski
 
 We're going to have the stage on the turf. Well, the students on the track area, parents on either side of them and in the bleachers, unlike last year, it was kind of a little truncated. 
 

 
KBBI
 
 It was fun. Everybody meeting up at the road...
 

 
Principal Waclawski
 
... and we're still doing it, the paperwork. We're going to try to do the parade thing again.
We're going to stream it too, but it'd be great if you guys would join in on a broadcast too.

 
 
KBBI
 
We'll jump on that stream, for sure. Are the singers is going to be singing?
 

 
 Principal Waclawski 
 
Yeah, we're going to have the choir sing. We're going to have the band play. They need to be 10 feet apart and we're doing it, rain or shine.
 

 
KBBI
 
Exams are coming up. I'm interested in the way that the high school is dealing with students that are sitting at home, taking their exams.
 

 
Principal Waclawski 
 
And how do you test at home wherethey're secure? Even the big companies are doing remote tests. A lot of times they have live proctoring, which means students go in and press a button and lock out their screen and they have to be in front of the camera the whole time.

 
If they look one way or the other, or get out of their seat...
 

 
KBBI
 
It corrupts the test. 
 

 
Principal Waclawski
 
Right. You know, the other one is, is that you just don't do multiple choice. That's not just remembering, but how can you apply it?
 

 
KBBI
 
And those are the skills you want to teach anyway.
 

 
Principal Waclawski 
 
Correct.
 

 
KBBI
 
What about activities rounding out the year?
 

 
Principal Waclawski 
 
We do have a chior presentation coming up.
 

 
KBBI
 
indoors?

 

 
Principal Waclawski 
 
Yep. Each person gets two spectators. The singers will be 10 feet apart. Same thing with the band. And of course, some of the instruments with the band actually have covers over the instruments. So nothing comes out. So it's like a mask for an instrument. It's kind of funny looking.

 
 
KBBI
 
As long as the students are staying healthy, then that's great.
 

 
Principal Waclawski 
 
Yes, but it will be streamed. I mean, obviously if you're not the two people who can come in.
 

 
KBBI
 
 I don't suppose kids are getting together for any dances.
 

 
Principal Waclawski 
 
No, we can't do dances. I thought that we could come up with a plan for prom.
Unfortunately, the District has blanket just said we are not doing dances. It was just too much mitigation to deal with.

 
 
After graduation, we've always done the senior night where they stay overnight with activities and stuff. So parents are planning doing the prom outdoors along with that senior activity night, and so it sounds like they're trying to do it the right way.
 

 
KBBI
 
I've been hearing from the District that they are trying to compile a list of returning students. Do you have a handle on how many students started this year and how many are finishing this year? How many are returning in the fall?
 

 
Principal Waclawski 
 
We've done better than a lot of the other high schools. I think we lost. 46 kids to connections, which is a lot when you start with 380. We're projected for 360 next year. So of those, we already know that like 22 of them are coming back because we called them, our numbers look pretty solid for next year. Some of the schools, like SOHI, they lost 300 students.
Some of those students will come back.

 
 
 
KBBI
 
What am I missing? What's coming up in the next week?

 
 
Principal Waclawski 
 
The big thing right now is sports. And actually it's, it's wrestling. That was one we were trying to figure out, well, how do you do that safely? Because I mean, if somebody has COVID and you're wrestling them, you probably have a hundred percent chance of catching it.

 

 
We actually have a testing regimen going on. So wrestlers are tested twice a week. They have to be clean. I think there was one positive test for a wrestler, but they caught it really quick. It was only the one wrestler out. The program that we're using and the mitigation is working. I feel really confident about that.
 

 
KBBI
 
Congratulations to you and the staff for making that possible.

 

 
Principal Waclawski
 
People have worked really hard to do that. And I think we're wearing masks more. Our numbers are super low. I think we have like five cases. We're in green. We've been in green for a couple of weeks. Everywhere else, they're in red and getting to high red, you know. I think there are 68 cases in the Central Peninsula area.
 

 
So whatever Homer's doing, keep it up. Cause it's working.

 

 
End Transcript