MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Homecoming will look a lot different this year at Minnesota high schools.  The pandemic has put a stop to crowded dance floors and football games.

But, one school got creative to still be able to celebrate.

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“I’m going to announce the rules for the extreme scavenger hunt,” you can hear on the loudspeaker.

It sounds unlike any pep fest you’ve probably ever seen.

But, in a year of firsts – Totino-Grace students are getting used to the unfamiliar.

Molly Kalthoff is co-president of the student council and helped to come up with the fast-paced scavenger hunt pitting grade against grade and an intense tug of war that did the same.

“We wanted to come up with a way we can do some fun things but safely,” Kalthoff said.

All happening in masks, in a socially distanced gym, and with sanitary equipment close by.

“This is just being livestreamed so everyone can watch in their home rooms,” Kalthoff said.

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Homerooms where there is no shortage of school spirit as student’s cheer loudly.

 “We’ve had dress up days all week then each class has a shirt that they’re wearing we have the …. and the surfs up seniors,” Kalthoff said.

“We’ve just also committed to saying we’re going to be creative and fun and find ways to continue to protect your high school experience,” Andrew Blake, the Dean of Students at Totino-Grace said.

It’s been five weeks since students walked back into Totino-Grace High School for a new year.  With no confirmed COVID-19 cases yet.

“They’ve been committed to being committed to something bigger than themselves,” Blake said.

They hope it stays that way as school pride has perhaps an even deeper meaning this year.

“I think everyone is glad to be back and together,” Kalthoff said.

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Totino-Grace has about 20 students who are doing distance learning this school year.  The other 680 are in the building every day.

Liz Collin