Under the Stars

Langley’s homecoming dance will take place October 16th, 2021 after previous year’s cancellation.


Seniors Sophia Bailey, Helena Swaak, and Kendall Wilson at the senior picnic on Friday before homecoming. The picnic is a pep rally event for seniors before the game.

After two years of anticipation, Langley High School will be having it’s homecoming dance on October 16th, 2021. This is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that caused nation-wide school shutdowns.

Currently, 187 million U.S. citizens are fully vaccinated and 5.24 million Virginia natives have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the majority of the population is vaccinated, COVID-19 cases are still prevalent. On October 4th, 2021, The New York Times reported 7,762 new cases of COVID-19 in Virginia. As a result, the CDC recommends that masks still be worn indoors within large gatherings. Holton Arms sophomore Annabelle Dennen agrees with this guidance.

“I think school dances can be safe if all precautions are followed… like making sure masks are worn,” Dennen said.

Though safety questions arise, homecoming at Langley will still take place. Students in student leadership are responsible for the planning, including junior Charlotte Carbaugh. 

“Planning is close to wrapping up, aside from selling tickets and setting up for the dance,” Carbaugh said. The dance will take place in Langley’s courtyard, with some indoor aspects, from 8:30-11:00 PM.

“Normally our homecoming is in the gym, but this year we’re holding it outside to hopefully minimize the risk of COVID,” Carbaugh said. FCPS has provided a few guidelines to schools, specifically regarding masks and students from other schools attending the dance.

“Schools are allowed to have homecoming events outside with no masks. Any events indoors, masks are required. If events are held indoors, students from other schools are not allowed to attend due to the logistics of contact tracing,” student leadership co-teacher Sandra Hamilton said.

Although this school year is different than most, the student leadership class is hoping to have this homecoming remain similar to dances of previous years. The organization of the dance will remain the same with students arriving whenever they please. This year, student ID cards will be required upon entrance.

Leading up to the dance, spirit week will also take place similar to previous years. Themes include jersey day, PJ day, Hawaiian day, blackout day, and finally, a pep rally.

”We are hoping the students are really hyped up [for the pep rally] because we haven’t had a homecoming in over a year. We are looking to have much more crowd involvement,” Hamilton said.

Though concerns for homecoming safety are warranted, proper preparations for the dance have been taken. As long as all students follow the established regulations, Langley’s homecoming and pep rally events will be safe for all students and faculty.