University City School District has a socially distant Halloween celebration


ST. LOUIS – University City School District superintendent Sharonica Hardin-Bartley relies heavily on CDC guidelines when planning any event this school year. Concerns about COVID-19 resulted in the cancellation of the district’s annual trunk-or-treat event. 

“It’s been an unbelievably challenging year,” said Hardin-Bartley.

Concerns about COVID did not prevent the district from finding a way to celebrate. The administration worked with the district’s PTO to create a new event that organizers say could become a new tradition.

Students interested in carving a pumpkin received one from the district. They were able to carve pumpkins at socially distanced outdoor tables Saturday. The pumpkins were then spread out along the high school’s track field. They were lit with LED lights and families were invited to stroll along the track in socially distanced groups and enjoy the view.

“It’s just one little bitty way just to bring some joy and excitement and fun,” said Hardin-Bartley. 

Tricia Sanders is Flynn Park Elementary School PTO president. She said organizers also changed out carving supplies for each station when a new family or group arrived. Face coverings were also required.

“We’re really taking a lot of precautions but really just with that focus of getting everyone together and having fun,” said Sanders.

“We are a district that really strives for wellness and well-being in our families,” said district spokesperson Nancy Cambria. “These kinds of events are things we try to do in a safe way when our kids can’t be in school.”

The CDC recently released guidelines for parents looking for ways to celebrate Halloween. Click here for the CDC Halloween guidelines. 

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