From the Editors
Parade? Party? Pumpkins? How does your child’s school observe Halloween?
When it comes to celebrating Halloween, not every school in the Champaign-Urbana area is equal.
While the majority of schools follow a “fright-free policy”, Halloween traditions definitely vary from school to school. Check out what some local schools do (or don’t do) to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve.
Students at Countryside School partake in a parade and students in elementary grades have parties. The middle school students join in the fun by decorating doors to entertain the younger kids.
Many schools have opted to celebrate Halloween with evening festivities. Kenwood in Champaign has a family reading night where kids (and usually teachers) come in their costumes. A trunk-or-treat is also held in the parking lot.
Thomas Paine in Urbana does a similar event in the evening where kids come in their costumes and do a craft or activity in the gym. Then they go to different classrooms where teachers read Halloween stories and pass out treats. The evening ends with a costume parade.
Holy Cross in Champaign celebrates in a few ways including classroom parties (no costumes during the school day); separate costume parties on the weekend geared towards grades K-5 and 6-8 (including “semi-gory” haunted houses); and the fourth graders dress up as saints on the Friday before All Saints’ Day.
Next Generation in Champaign does class costumes and a parent party. All the kids dress in a group costume and walk in a parade. They also do a class pumpkin contest.
Some schools like Westview in Champaign choose not to hold a school-wide event and leave it up to individual teachers and parents to decide if they want to have a party. One Westview classroom is planning a Wizard of Oz themed party.
At Booker T. Washington in Champaign, students don’t dress up but a pumpkin decorating contest with a library character theme is held.
Several schools in the area do a parade and parties including Prarieview-Ogden Elmentary. At an Oakwood school, costumes are ok but masks are not allowed. Similarly, at Lincoln Trail in Mahomet, third-fifth graders do a parade but nothing too gory or violent is allowed.
Sangamon Elementary in Mahomet has held a Storybook Parade for many years. Students are asked to dress up as a book character that isn’t violent or doesn’t carry a weapon. They are also asked to carry a book with them during the parade that their costume is based on. Parties follow the parade, which are planned by room parents and volunteers.
Middletown Prairie in Mahomet, which includes Pre-K and Kindergarten students, does a Fall Festival. No costumes are worn to school but students rotate classrooms in the morning and enjoy special Halloween and fall-themed activities.
Bottenfield School in Champaign is doing something different than it has in the past and holding a Storybook Character Parade. Teachers decide if they will have a fall party after. Carrie Busey is also doing a Storybook Parade.
At South Side in Champaign, individual classrooms often have parties put on by the room parents but no costumes are allowed in school. This year, the PTA is doing a “trunk or treat” fundraiser for the first time a few days before Halloween. In years past, PTA has done pumpkin decorating contests in conjunction with a celebration of reading and stories.
At St. Matthew Catholic School, a saint parade is held to celebrate All Saints Day as well as classroom parties. A trunk or treat for families is also held in the evenings.
Robeson Elementary in Champaign does a Rocktoberfest celebration at the end of October to celebrate students meeting PBIS expectations. Kids get to dress up like their favorite rock star/ musician and go to a dance party. The fall parties are not Halloween themed but students do play pumpkin/fall games.
Heritage Elementary students will have a costume parade indoors that the public is invited to attend, which is followed by Fall classroom parties. Students also participate in classroom pumpkin decorating contests. The junior high will have a daytime dance instead of classroom parties. No scary costumes are allowed.
International Prep Academy in Champaign follows traditions of Day of The Dead.
Does your child’s school plan any Halloween or Fall-themed celebrations? Tell us what they are in the comments below!