While Greta Gerwig attends the Academy Awards this Sunday, her Catholic high school will be hosting its own Oscar-themed party in her honor.
The director, 34, who made her solo directorial debut with the Oscar-nominated Lady Bird, set in her hometown of Sacramento, California, is fully aware of the party taking place at her alma mater, a faculty member of the school tells PEOPLE.
MaryAnne Kelly, director of advancement at St. Francis Catholic High School, says the star still has deep connections to her roots in Sacramento.
“She does know about it,” says Kelly, who praised the film. “Her parents still live in the area, and they’ve regularly stopped by the school. Her mom and dad stopped by to give out ‘I Love Lady Bird‘ buttons from A24 [the film’s distribution company].”
This is the high school’s first Oscars party, and rightly so, as alum Gerwig was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay along with the movie’s Best Picture nomination.
“We are certainly very, very proud of Greta and when you watch the interviews you can see her leadership in directing such a beautiful film,” says Kelly. “Just listening to how her coworkers talk about her… and many people on our campus know her personally. The thing you’ll hear from them is she’s the person today that she was back then. She’s as gracious today as she was back then.”
As for what students, parents and locals can expect from the Oscar party, Kelly said they’ve done their best to bring a little bit of the Lady Bird magic to life.
“We’re a little Catholic school, but the community has really come together to help us put this event on,” she says. “We’ll convert the gym, so it’s set up with a bunch of big screens and a step and repeat area.”
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Kelly says a wooden model of Sacramento’s Tower Bridge was built, and that six backdrops of the city were created to honor the film.
“We have two of the gold [Oscar] statuettes and we’ve got a life-size cut out of Greta,” shares Kelly. “I think it’s going to feel a lot like the film. It’s downhome fun. I look at our attendees and it’s equal parts alumni, current students and parents.”
Adds, “It’s going to feel like the community and town. We’re excited.”
Shannon Barnes-Arguijo, co-owner of Club Raven, which was featured in the film, told the Sacramento Bee that the club is also hosting its own gathering on Oscar night.
“I don’t know how we’ll do it; we’re just a neighborhood bar,” she said. “This is our first ever Oscar party. We’re all going to dress up. We’re going to have a red carpet photo booth out front with the sign in the background. We’re going to do an Oscar ballot with prizes for first and second place.”
Some of the town’s locations that were included in the movie (including that big blue house Lady Bird was so fond of passing by) are also a part of a tour that occurs on Sunday through Sac Running Tours.
“It’s blown me away,” Jenn Kistler-McCoy, the owner of Sac Running Tours, told the newspaper. “Way more people than I anticipated have wanted to go on a Lady Bird tour.”