Since the writing of this article on April 16, 2021, protocols have been altered in accordance with Governor Murphy’s most recent social distancing requirements. Kingsway Regional School District announced on May 5th that although there will still be no junior prom, Kingsway seniors will be permitted to bring underclassmen or non-Kingsway students as guests. As promoted on the Kingsway student council social media pages, students are grateful for the opportunity, and appreciative of the school district for updating them in a timely manner.
Of all the experiences in 4 years of high school, prom is arguably the most pivotal, so as the 2020-2021 school year draws to a close, it raises the question of what prom will look like amidst a pandemic.
In conversations with Camryn O’Rourke, Morgan Wordellman, and Eric Williams, senior class officers, they revealed that there are plans in place for Kingsway to host the highly anticipated night to remember.
“As of right now, we do have a date in place, June 11th, and we do have plans set up in accordance with the aquarium in Camden, but obviously, that is subject to change,” says O’Rourke, senior class president.
Despite the excitement surrounding the opportunity to participate in the senior year right of passage, many are discouraged by the expected regulations that will be mandated to ensure everyone’s safety, as well as the lack of communication from administration as to what these rules will be.
“The school has given us the bare minimum in terms of information about what our prom will look like. We anticipate that we will have to wear masks and socially distance, but they haven’t said anything about dancing, or the actual rules and instructions. I’m sure as the date gets closer we will know more,” continues O’Rourke.
Students estimate that the protocols at Kingsway’s prom will closely resemble the proms of other local districts, but again, no one is quite sure what those standards are because the dates have been pushed back much farther than prom would be during a normal school year.
“Right now it is projected that no one will be able to have an outside guest that is not a senior at Kingsway, so you can’t bring underclassmen. This is just in the best interest of aligning with COVID protocols, as well as prioritizing seniors,” claims Wordellman, vice president of the class.
She continued by saying that this rule is likely to deter her classmates from attending prom, but she and her fellow class officers are reminding their peers, “The prom is the last hurrah. You can go to Disney, or hang out with your friends anytime, but you are only going to get one prom.”
As seniors, many students are eligible for the vaccine and will be vaccinated by June 11. That being said, Wordellman emphasizes, “We have to wear masks. I would definitely put money on the fact that we have to wear masks, especially since it is through the school. I think that the school will be very cognizant of CDCs protocols as they have been with any other event this year.”
Not having all the answers is conspicuously the theme of 2020 and 2021, and so although there are still numerous questions about the structure of this year’s prom, Kingsway is hopeful that it will indeed happen.
It is important to acknowledge that a dance is not going to make up for everything that has been taken from the senior class in the past 14 months, but it will be an optimistic band aid on a wound that will take a very long time to heal.
By Audrey Pachuta, 10th Grade Ursuline Academy