Local school districts host winter formals with added safety measures in place

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local school districts are working to safely bring back winter formals this year, but it's a tough task.

Clovis East High School students Kamryn and Arabella say they weren't sure if they'd be having a winter formal this year.

"At the beginning, we were kind of skeptical, said Senior Arabella Santiago.

"It was very hard to know what to plan, know what the kids would like," added sophomore Kamryn Marlatt.

Thanks to months of planning and added safety measures, their winter formal went off without a hitch.

"We had over 700 people buy tickets, which was a lot and the COVID testing and vaccinations made us all feel safer," said Marlatt.

Each student had to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, something that Central Unified is requiring for their winter formals as well.

"There's a lot of questions, a lot of concern still," said Central Unified Area Administrator. "COVID is still a real thing. We want to make sure our parents know it's safe to send your kids to school, it's safe for them to participate in these activities."

While masks are not required, they are encouraged and districts like Fresno Unified are even providing rapid testing on site.

"Being able to wear them and monitoring them, even County Health Dept recognized that's a tough ask, so we're going above and beyond doing the testing, making sure we have an extra layer if those masks come off," said FUSD Executive Officer of Health Services Amy Idsvoog.

Districts we spoke with agree that making these dances happen is a priority.

"It's one of those right of passage moments when they get to dress up, socialize with each other. It's more than just a dance, it's one of those high school memories," said Clovis East High School Principal Ryan Eisele.

Winter formals will be happening for Central, Clovis and Fresno Unified through the month of January.
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