Immaculate Heart Seniors Celebrate a Sweet Treat, Safely Together
Members of Immaculate Heart High School’s Class of 2020 returned to campus Friday for the first time in weeks for a “Senior Sundae Party,” a celebratory event in their honor that also coincided with “Senior Ditch Day” from online classes.
Faculty and staff cheered as arriving seniors lined up in cars on the school ballfield, which was decorated with balloons in their class color red as well as with posters offering exuberant messages like, “We Love You, Class of 2020!” On hand to officially greet the students and distribute bags with cups of ice cream and sundae toppings were Immaculate Heart President Maureen Diekmann and IHHS Principal Naemah Morris.
Since March 16, all students at both Immaculate Heart High School and Middle School have been at home for distance learning in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The physical separation from classmates, teachers and their campus has especially affected the seniors who normally experience many traditions in their final months of school.
For example, in the month of May seniors typically enjoy a “senior ditch day” from classes on the day of Prom, as well as ice cream to mark the end of the college decision process. With social distancing an ongoing concern and the school Prom now a virtual event, IH administrators wrestled with ways to bring the seniors safely back to campus for a special salute. Their solution was the drive-on sundae party.
In advance of the celebration, many teachers, counselors and staff members came together and decorated cups for the ice cream, along with the treat bags and posters. Still others showed up for the event to wave, applaud, and shout words of encouragement to the seniors from a safe distance. It was an emotional moment as a few parent drivers on hand took pictures and wiped tears from their eyes.
Along with a cool treat on a hot day, each senior also received a commemorative card with a warm note, “Dear Class of 2020: The campus is quiet and lonely, but the spirit and strength of your class has left an indelible mark for all the years to come. Even the squirrels miss you.”
After the students picked up their sundaes on the field, many parked in the school lot and spent a few minutes in each other’s company, a safe distance apart, in their cars. Clearly relishing the moment was senior Violet Marko as she sat and smiled at her friends. Although the high school’s graduation plans are still pending, Marko said simply, “We don’t care if we have to wait until later in the summer. All we want is to be together again.”
About Immaculate Heart
Founded in 1906, Immaculate Heart High School & Middle School educates young women in grades sixth through 12th from its central location in the Los Feliz foothills near Griffith Park in Hollywood. The school has a long and distinguished history, with more than 10,000 graduates. Today’s student body of more than 700 young women is both geographically and ethnically diverse, drawing on students from throughout Los Angeles County. Last year, virtually 100 percent of Immaculate Heart graduates matriculated to colleges, including the most prestigious schools in the country.
Immaculate Heart High School and Middle School, 5515 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028, (323) 461-3651 or visit www.immaculateheart.org.