Cleveland Gearing Up for Homecoming Week: Oct. 17 – 21

Students are anticipating a jam-packed week of homecoming activities, but some students are not satisfied that some traditions are not happening


Clarion photo Eli Hood

A poster announces the upcoming homecoming dance, the first since 2019.

With Homecoming right around the corner, Cleveland students can’t help but feel left out from the traditional high school experience. Although our homecoming celebrations are back from COVID-19, they aren’t exactly meeting students’ expectations.

Many have expressed their interest in a formal homecoming dance, in place of our current more casual post-game gathering in the gym.

Senior Lauren Shanley said, “I think our homecoming is too casual. I feel like if it was just a nicer dance people would go. Students are expected to go at other schools, but at Cleveland the norm is to skip the dance.”

Three-fourths of our school have never experienced a high school dance. In the fall of 2020, school was entirely online. Then, the following year, we still had too many COVID-19 regulations, and could not fully revive the previous homecoming traditions, meaning, the last homecoming dance took place in 2019.

This year, the game, dance, assembly, and spirit week are back. Spirit week begins Monday, Oct. 17 and goes through Friday, Oct. 21. Each day has a theme, and more information can be found on the leadership instagram (@clevelandhs.leadership) or on the Trivory app.

The spirit assembly is on Wednesday from 9:50 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. The football game is at the Cleveland stadium on Friday versus Ida B. Wells. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. The dance will take place after the football game, from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the Cleveland gym. The theme is “A night under the stars,” and entry costs $5. Hall decorations will also be returning this year, but on a smaller scale.

While most of the Cleveland homecoming traditions are back, the old excitement hasn’t fully returned.
Before the pandemic, homecoming week at Cleveland looked very spirited and eventful. Seniors who experienced the last homecoming before COVID, as freshmen, feel that this same energy is no longer present.

“When we were freshmen, all the seniors were so spirited, and I think it just kind of died out,” said Shanley.

Students have noticed that a few PPS high schools have a homecoming dance on the Saturday after the Friday night football game. Yet, Cleveland doesn’t follow this traditional route.

Senior Juniper Muellner said, “It’s really unfair and sad that other schools have nice dances where people dress up and everyone goes, and Cleveland just doesn’t have that.”

Alongside Muellner, many others have voiced similar opinions about Cleveland’s homecoming.

Twenty years ago Cleveland homecoming included an off-campus dance the day after the game. But with that came some serious violations of code of conduct on behalf of students, which resulted in repercussions to the school and the ability to have said off campus dance.

Ever since the violations, homecoming moved to an after-game activity in the gym. Now, 20 years in the future, students are unsatisfied with how this decision from the past is still affecting the school today.

Junior Marley Ware said, “it frustrates me a lot that these decisions aren’t even talked about with students outside of leadership. Other people’s opinions aren’t really considered.”

On the topic of the dance, Vice Principal Alaina Langdahl said, “this year our main concerns were about logistics.” She and other sources said there was a limited amount of time to plan and not enough experience to put together a full, traditional homecoming.

Nevertheless homecoming is happening, and regardless of how some students feel about the dance, everyone is encouraged to go.

“It’s a school pride experience attached with the energy from the game, so the spirit carries over to the dance,” said Langdahl.

Despite the circumstances, past history, and limited time and planning, of this year’s homecoming, any celebration is still immensely better than nothing at all.