The administration and Associated Student Body are planning options for the Class of 2021’s graduation ceremony, according to Palo Alto High School student board representative Medha Atla.

There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding which events will be allowed to take place, but Paly administration and ASB have created a Senior Events Planning Committee to discuss safe in-person possibilities alongside virtual alternatives.

“Obviously we want to do something that has an in-person component,” Atla said. “I think it’s safe to say that we [seniors] all miss those experiences.”

According to Atla, when schools closed in March 2020, graduation was not on her mind, and planning for the Class of 2020’s events was slightly rushed.

“We now have more time [compared to 2020] to plan events and I would like to do something more unique and memorable,” Atla said.

Many seniors have looked forward to graduation their entire high school career, and senior Leslie Aboytes hopes for hers to resemble a pre-COVID observance as much as possible.

“I am hoping we will be able to safely have an in-person graduation ceremony because lots of us have been looking forward to it for so many years,” Aboytes said.

Though many seniors have their hearts set on an in-person ceremony, safety still remains the primary concern.

“I think that a lot of people have become desensitized to the virus after 10 months, but we have to remain cognizant that there’s bigger issues going on in the world than graduation ceremonies,” senior Siddhartha Sahasrabuddhe said.


“We have to remain cognizant that there’s bigger issues going on in the world than graduation ceremonies.

— Siddhartha Sahasrabuddhe, senior


According to Atla, ASB is still moving forward with end-of-the-year plans for the Class of 2021.

According to parent planner Kristen Anderson, Paly has made a reservation at an outdoor venue for Grad Night. The venue allows for social distancing, and there will be no self-serve options. This venue hosted multiple outdoor events last summer with no outbreaks, according to Anderson.