Trunk or Treat Street brought in the fall season at Thomas Jefferson High School with candy and games in a post-quarantine world.
Trick or Treat Street has been an annual tradition at Thomas Jefferson High School as long as Principal Mike Christoff can remember. Clubs historically lined the hallways with tables decked in candy and costumes galore. Last year was anything but ideal as the bulk of the school year was online, but this did not discourage Christoff from advocating to still host the event. The Operational and Instructional Superintendents approved an outside experience, donning the name Trunk or Treat Street; unfortunately, the transmission of COVID-19 led to its cancellation. Christoff remarked, “I think it was disappointing for everybody. My kids too, we hardly went Trick-or-Treating last year.” The current school year has students and staff back in person where Trunk or Treat Street commenced as spooky as ever.
Black Student Alliance (BSA) heads the community halloween festivity, and this year was presented the obstacle no previous year had experienced for a Trunk or Treat Street event. World Language teacher Kyler Jackson is also the new BSA sponsor this year. He expressed that organizing the event “really involved entering the mind of a child and trying to figure out what a kid would enjoy.” Each club worked to their fullest ability to entertain the firefighters, Hermoine Grangers, and Disney princesses of the evening. Games including cornhole, jumbo connect four, and musical chairs (with TJ’s band leading the ensemble), in addition to predestined cavities removed the social constraints of social distancing as community engagement was ever present. TJ Robotics’ ghost robot also made an appearance defining the un-boo-lieveable event.
This comeback was beneficial for both TJ’s clubs and neighboring elementary and middle school students. Jackson exclaimed, “I think it was a smashing success. It was talked about on NextDoor, and our groups and clubs still feel good about what we were able to accomplish.” Figuring out whether to host the event indoors or outdoors for safety isn’t a hassle anymore, because both options are available to build and maintain good ties with the community. Although this is true, now that school is held in the building to full capacity with masks intact, the possibility for the traditional Trick or Treat Street tradition back indoors with guests simply maintaining COVID-19 protocols was a possibility. Although this could have been explored, Christoff recognizes DPS’ decision to be cautious when he stated, “I think [that] DPS’ motivation is doing as much as we can to make sure that we really limit the amount of exposure that people have [indoors.]” In order to keep TJ operating as normal as possible during the pandemic, Trunk or Treat Street was introduced with crisp yellow leaves and a light breeze to reassure the decision. Faculty and their kids, parents, and students from all ages enjoyed the Friday fun celebrating Halloween at TJ.