Jackson Heights board reviewing prom plans

Students at Jackson Heights High School are looking forward to resuming a longstanding tradition — prom — this year after COVID-19 canceled the event last year, but it’s possible that this year’s prom may be held after school is out for the year, and not at the school.

That’s what JHHS Principal Darren Shupe and prom sponsor Katie Morris told the Jackson Heights USD 335 Board of Education about preliminary discussions with students and the school’s post-prom committee during the board’s regular monthly meeting on Monday.

Originally, this year’s prom was scheduled for Saturday, April 10, Shupe told board members, noting that students “want to have a dance” this year. But with COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures in place, combined with a slow rollout for the COVID-19 vaccine, he said, “we’re looking at possibly moving it off that date.”

“Possibly after graduation is what we’re looking at — in fact, probably after state track is over,” Shupe told board members.

Morris added the possibility that this year’s prom would be structured differently from previous events, based on student input that also favored postponement. Before COVID-19, the event included a dinner and a program before students hit the dance floor, but this year’s prom may not include either.

“Nobody brought up the program as being super important to them,” Morris said. “They said they could have a shorter dance, so they still get to do something. But most of them were in favor of postponing it in hopes that they could have a more normal experience.”

Shupe also noted that members of the school’s post-prom committee had “brainstormed” moving this year’s post-prom activities to the Netawaka Fitness Center, which led to the idea of also having the prom dance there. That idea did not sit well with board member Melinda Wareham, who reminded Shupe and Morris that prom and related activities had always been held at the school.

Like other components of this year’s prom, Shupe reminded Wareham, the idea of having prom off-campus is not yet set in stone.

“We’re in initial talks,” he said. “There’s still plenty of time.”

For more on this story, please log in to your holtonrecorder.net account and choose the Feb. 10 edition under the E-Edition tab.

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