By Lauren Cohen and Antony Stark
Halloween is just around the corner, and Oak Hall students and faculty are preparing for what should be a spooky, yet exciting day. The Early Learning Childhood Center (ECLC), Lower, Middle, and Upper School students will show off their costumes during the all-school Halloween parade which will begin around 8:30 a.m. Because of the PSAT/Field Day on Oct. 30, and Halloween on Oct. 31, the Middle and Upper Schools will not have a block schedule this week. Wednesday will follow the Monday schedule, while Thursday will follow the Tuesday schedule.
Michelle Mills, head of the Lower School, is organizing the Lower School’s Halloween activities. The festivities begin as Lower School students arrive to class, dressed in their Halloween costumes. Students in all grades can dress up in whichever costume of their choosing, as long as it doesn’t violate any of the following rules:
- Costumes may not be demeaning to any ethnic group, race, religion, nationality, disabilities, gender, or individual (faculty, staff, or student) at the school.
- Costumes may not cause a disruption or distraction to the school program, i.e. no revealing costumes (nightwear/pajamas, bathing suits, etc.).
- No weapons, toy weapons, or props replicating weapons may be brought to school.
- Costumes may not show obscene materials or prohibited substances.
Props will be allowed to a certain extent. “It’s fine if they bring props with their costumes, but I don’t want them to bring weapons,” Mills stated. Weapons and other gory props are prohibited on campus.
The costume parade is the highlight of the day for many Oak Hall students, as it is the time they can show off their creative costumes to the whole school. Students are welcomed to dress up individually or in groups such as members of a sports team, or characters from their favorite movie. The fifth graders will lead the way from the Lower School to the Upper School via the traffic circle. The remaining grade levels will follow suit. Kindergartners have a special guest walking with them, their senior buddy. After the parade, students have the option to either stay in costume or change into the Oak Hall uniform. Students in third grade and below often choose to change for physical education class because “the costumes can be hot,” Mills explained.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to dress up and partake in the holiday. Each grade level in the ECLC and Lower School has a theme for the teachers, for example some teachers can be pirates, while others are given the task of dressing up as football players. The teachers with the best group costume among the faculty and staff will be awarded with gift cards or free lunch. There will also be an award for the best individual teacher costume. ECLC and Lower School classroom parties will begin within the last hour of the school day. The parties will include games like “wrap the mummy” and “pin the leg on the spider”. Cupcakes, brownies, candy, and other delicious treats will be served.
While Middle and Upper School students are not be participating in costume contests and parties filled with treats, students are still very excited to dress up and watch the parade with their peers. Students in the Middle and Upper Schools are encouraged to watch the parade but must receive permission from their teacher to leave the classroom.