Elements of normalcy at end of challenging year

Como Park Senior High School


The 2020-21 school year at Como concluded on June 11 for both in-person and distance-learning. In a challenging year for students, families, and staff, there were some elements of normalcy for those that returned to classes at the start of the fourth quarter.
Students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes concluded their college-prep studies with subject area exams in May. 279 students took at least one exam, with a school-wide total of 448 AP Exams completed.
A majority of those exams were taken in school with paper test booklets and pencils under the supervision of test proctors in the familiar setting of the Como gymnasium. However, the AP College Board also administered digital exams on secure platforms at a designated time for students who opted to remain in distance learning.
Como’s Advanced Placement program features 20 different courses across disciplines that provide students with rigorous college-level curriculum and opportunities to earn college credits with successful exam results.

Senior BBQ party
Seniors from Como’s Class of 2021 were able to enjoy a barbeque party outside on the grass athletic fields of school on the afternoon of June 4. The Como Park Booster Club organized and sponsored the event, and took the traditional event to the next level.
Since the all-night indoor graduation party was not possible because of pandemic limitations, the booster club put resources and energy into the Senior Barbeque Party that included a large supply of catered food, a DJ, volleyball, lawn games, a dunk tank to soak favorite teachers, a Como-themed mini-golf course, and more.

Graduation held in-person
Graduation was held on Monday evening, June 7. In another break from tradition, the commencement was not held downtown at Roy Wilkins Auditorium. The school district hosted Como’s ceremony at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood.
There was uncertainty into the spring about what graduation may look like, with wonderings about another virtual graduation similar to 2020. In the end, there were livestreaming options for those unable to attend, but members from the Class of 2021 were grateful to have the in-person ceremony and the opportunity for family to be present and witness the milestone event.

Safe Haven Project
Students in the Academy of Finance (AOF) Business Communications classes teamed up with the St. Paul Fire Department to bring the Safe Haven Project to Como. AOF students provided education about the need for functional smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in every home, and promoted the event which brought a fire truck to school for free distribution of safety kits.

John Fischbach retires
John Fischbach has been Como’s head softball coach for over 30 years. A retired St. Paul teacher, Fischbach is also now retiring from softball. In what has been another successful season for the Cougars, Fischbach surpassed the 400-win mark. His leadership of the program and commitment to help every player and team reach their potential have positively influenced hundreds of student athletes.


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