Back to school activities planned for students, parents

Addie McNamara and Amanda Carlsson

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The upcoming weeks at Palo Alto High School offer a plethora of back to school activities for both students and parents.

To kick things off, the Welcome Back Dinner for students and their families will be  from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23 on the quad. According to the Paly Link, entertainment will include performances by pep band, cheer and dance teams and theater students. Tickets are available for $10 at the Paly Web Store.

The student events begin on Friday, Aug. 24, with the Back to School Rally on the quad during lunch.

“The purpose of the first rally is to get people excited about the new school year, and it also serves as a small preview for Spirit Week,” said Emma Ketchum, one of the Associated Student Body’s two Spirit Commissioners.

The rally will include a wide range of activities and performances.

“We will be doing the sponge race, which is a tradition for the first rally,” Ketchum said.

According to Spirit Commissioner Sophie Parker, there will also be performances by the cheer and dance team. Parker believes the rally may serve to excite students about the approaching football season.

“We are hoping to pump up the school for the upcoming football season, starting that [Friday] night with an away scrimmage,” Parker said. “There is already an event on Facebook, and we hope to see everyone there at lunch to support the school.”

Also occurring on Friday is the Back to School Dance, taking place from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on the quad. The theme of the dance is Hawaiian/Aloha, and the first 65 entrants will receive free leis. Tickets will be sold for $5 at the door.

Social Commissioner Bria Vicenti hopes that attendance at the dance will increase as it did last year.

“Because of the bigger freshmen class, increased advertising and the extra effort we’ve put in this year, we are expecting another sizeable increase in attendance,” Vicenti said.

Vicenti also commented that ASB has hired a new local DJ, DJ Nic Nice, to “start the Paly dances fresh.”

According to Vicenti, the social commissioners are hoping to achieve three main goals.

“The purpose of this dance is to welcome back the student body, welcome the freshman class into the school and prove to the student body that this year Paly ASB really cares about the dances and will work extremely hard to make them as fun as they used to be,” Vicenti said.

The last of the four main activities jumpstarting the year is Back to School Night, which will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6. Back to School Night is solely for the parents of Paly students and is an opportunity for them to meet Paly teachers and staff.

The teachers will hope to convey “enthusiasm, energy and excitement for teaching,” said principal Phil Winston. “And that we care about each individual student.”