Planning Prom During a Pandemic

PHS Prom Scheduled for May 1


Photo by Kelsey Golden

Math teacher and Junior Cabinet advisor, Bret Power (left) and social studies teacher, Kathy Frederick, announce the 2021 prom theme on the morning news, WPHS.

Kelsey Golden, Staff Writer

High school students have missed out on a lot in the past year due to COVID-19, but some good may still be coming. Junior Cabinet advisor, Brett Powner, has announced that Junior Cabinet is planning on having a prom this year. While everything is subject to change in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, prom is set to be held on Saturday, May 1st with an Ancient Greece theme. Walk-in and photo-ops for students will be at 6 p.m. and the actual dance will start at 7 p.m. inside the field house. There are expected to be many changes to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, most importantly, masks.

“Masks are the key. We must be masked up,” said Powner.

Outside guests will be welcome, but grade requirements to attend—which will be released at a later time—will be strict. Remote learning students will be allowed to attend prom, but only if they meet the grade requirements. Upperclassmen who meet the grade requirements will be able to purchase tickets for two weeks in April, but not the week of prom.

Junior Cabinet is in charge of organizing prom every year, but planning for 2021 is particularly difficult for this year’s members. Spending a large part of the year remote made it even more difficult to plan, but the cabinet was able to meet over Teams meetings and in person to discuss possible ways prom could be held in a safe and precautionary way that would still be enjoyable for students.

“We were thinking of it being outside, but we had a lot of trouble finding a venue we could use or how to get all of the tents. We were still in red at the time (of planning). Some of the members, including myself, were wanting to just do a photo-op in a nice location,” said Anna Martin, Junior Cabinet secretary.

Fortunately for the cabinet, they did not have to find a new location, as the school administration gave the all clear for prom to be held in the field house after local COVID-19 cases decreased and state-wide restrictions were lifted by Governor Jim Justice. The green light for prom has sped up Junior Cabinet’s planning as they work to put on an uplifting event for upperclassmen after an otherwise disappointing year.

“Planning prom has been exciting and complicated. We are trying to make prom as fun as possible while also staying safe. There are many more factors to consider for this year’s prom than there have been for proms in past years. For example, there is a chance that prom could be canceled or shut down at any time by the state, and guidelines for COVID-19 are also subject to change at any time. This makes it very difficult to plan things in advance,” said cabinet president, Emma Fleming.

“However, I think under the circumstances we are doing well. We are hoping that prom will be as normal as possible for everyone, and that everyone will be able to have both a fun and safe night,” said Fleming.