West High winter formal canceled in planning stages

Co-News Editor Vivian Polgreen investigates why West High won’t be hosting a winter formal this year.


Courtesy of Mitch Gross

Homecoming will be West High’s only all school dance of the school year.

Vivian Polgreen, Managing Co-Editor, News Editor

This year, both City High and Liberty held school dances in February. West High’s Student Government began planning a winter formal for our school but later decided against it.

“With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and how transmissible the variant of Omicron is, we just felt it was best, along with administration, to not put students in that type of scenario,” said Nick Bushkofsky, who teaches Physics and Chemistry on top of supervising West High Student Government.

There were also other problems with planning a winter dance, including finding teachers to chaperone the dance and picking a time that would work for everyone.

“The winter schedule is just crazy … this weekend we had a girl’s regional basketball game and [the] state wrestling tournament. The previous weekend we had [the] state swimming tournament. This week we have a major debate tournament here at West. The following weekend we have state girl’s basketball, the following weekend after that we have state boy’s basketball. And then the following week, that’s the musical,” said Principal Mitch Gross.

Because of these difficulties, this decision was made before serious planning began.

“I think the committees were in their first stages of planning. I know they had looked at our homecoming survey to see what students felt about homecoming, to try to look at the best possible venue, or if it would be just here at the school,” said Bushkofsky. “But I think in future years hopefully we’re able to have a winter formal or consider that again, and we’ll see what the students want.”

West High has typically only had two dances a year: Homecoming and Prom. Adding another was an idea for a way to build community and to make up for last year when most social activities were canceled or held virtually.

“I don’t know why we haven’t had a winter formal in the past years. We wanted to have one this year to improve the community at West and provide a time for students to have fun and connect with their peers outside of the classroom,” said Anna Dreusicke ‘22, a member of West High Student Government.

School dances have been some of the greatest highlights of high school, but I understand that it is better to stay safe.

— Anna Dreusicke ‘22

Dreusicke understands the reasons behind why this decision was made to cancel the winter formal but was still disappointed that the event won’t be happening.

“School dances have been some of the greatest highlights of high school, but I understand that it is better to stay safe. I wish there was a safer approach so that we could continue planning. Unfortunately, we are unable to plan something appropriate for the current safety concerns,” said Dreusicke.

Even though we will not be having another school dance this year, Gross thinks that having another dance or school activity would help to strengthen the community here at West, and hopes we will be able to have one in the future.

“We absolutely want to do something that is engaging and fun, and that kids want to come to, so I would be expecting something like that for next year,” Gross said.

Even without another dance, there are other efforts being made to strengthen community and school spirit at West.

“I do know that a couple of other clubs [and] Student Government are also looking at another way to bring students together,” said Bushkofsky. “But it’s still in the building stages so I don’t want to give too much away.”