All School Day and We Are Westridge Day Events: A 2022 Comedy of Cancellations


On March 15th, Dean of Upper School Activities Brittany Coker sent out an email notifying the community that Westridge would say goodbye to All School Day and hello to We Are Westridge Day. “We are excited to announce the first We Are Westridge Day, on March 4, 2022. Please wear your Westridge green and join us as we celebrate some of the incredible programs that make Westridge special,” Ms. Coker’s email read. 

The new day included a lineup of assemblies and arts showcases, but the loss of All School Day, a beloved Westridge tradition, was met with widespread disappointment. Several students, who refused to go on the record, admitted that they had planned to skip the event altogether. 

“I think it is kind of pointless, I would kind of rather have class, I’ve missed a lot of classes already because of sports and missing other days, and just kind of I don’t really see the point in [We are Westridge Day], and the All School’s Day used to be really fun,” Amanda G. ’25 said. 

Sandhya R. ’25 agreed. “I’d rather have no school than We are Westridge Day.”

“I really loved [All School Day] the one time I got to go because it gave us a day to kind of relax and not have to worry about real school. It didn’t feel like real school; it gave us the day to not worry about stress,”  Margaret N. ’25 said. 

All School Day is an annual tradition in which students, faculty, and staff take a day for community-centered fun. In the past, the Associated Student Body (ASB), and Ms. Coker would spend months preparing for All School Day, but this year the administration canceled the day in favor of more cost-effective programming and also because they were uncertain if school would have to close again because of COVID. “We all [in the administration] talked about how it’s a lot of money for just one day, and at the end of it all, it doesn’t justify the cost,” Ms. Coker said.

Typically, All School Day has a budget of $20 per person, which goes towards food, decorations, and other activities. For instance, in 2019, All School Day was carnival-themed and included a Ferris wheel, a mechanical bull, cotton candy, and a train ride. 

Instead of canceling All School Day, the Westridge administration decided to bring students together with We Are Westridge Day. This day was meant to showcase the arts programs and create school-wide community across divisions.  

Different arts programs had planned activities. Ceramics was going to have people draw and then have students on the pottery wheels replicate the drawings. Orchestra was going to perform pieces throughout the day, and the other art departments were planning on doing more hands-on projects. 

 “Mr. Baldwin asked me if we could kind of do a version of Disassembly again,” Ms. Lorri Deyer, Chair of the Art Department, said. “I was kind of concerned because we had a long time to plan for Disassembly, like months and months, and this was like going to be like three weeks…so we had a whole bunch of different things planned.” 

After only a couple of weeks, teachers and students were on their way to preparing, but on March 1st, just three days before We Are Westridge Day, Gary Baldwin, Director of Upper School, sent out an email canceling the event due to a rain forecast. “Given the 90% chance of rain on Friday, we need to cancel We Are Westridge Day on Friday. Happily, in its place, we will be holding…CLASSES! Yes, classes.” 

Rescheduling We Are Westridge Day, especially after all the work that had gone into the planning, wasn’t an easy option. Mr. Baldwin said, “I don’t know [about rescheduling], I mean you would think it would be easy to find another day on the calendar, but actually start looking at the calendar, and all the things that would have to happen, it’s devilishly difficult. So right now there aren’t any plans to reschedule, but if we could find an opportunity to do it, I’m sure we would love to.”

While the cancellation of All School Day was met with disappointment, the abrupt cancellations are yet another pivot added to the fatigue of two years of the pandemic. “The past few years, teachers have had to pivot a lot, and quickly, and so coming off of some of those experiences, for example in January, we had a week where we were maybe teaching online, and maybe teaching at school, and didn’t know until the day before, you know we just roll with the punches at this point,” Ms. Melissa Kelly, Chairman of the history department said.

After canceling both events, teachers, faculty, and students are ready to move on. Some are still holding out hope for an All School Day return. “ I really loved All School Day because I think it was a great opportunity for the Westridge community with the students and the teachers to all get together and have fun and take a break from the daily academics,” Isla R. ’25 said.