Local school districts finalizing prom plans under new state guidance

Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Local school districts are finalizing plans for prom this year after the state released its guidance for these events last week. Proms can happen beginning June 1, but there are some safety limitations.

Prom is on for students at Gananda High School and principal Matt Mahoney said the smaller size of the school is a key factor in being able to hold the event somewhat normally.

“We started out by meeting with our seniors and seeing what they want and what they would like. Their piece is they wanted to be together and they wanted to bring guests,” Mahoney said.

He said they already had Ravenwood Golf Club reserved and they met with staff there to figure out logistics.

The guidelines from New York State require students don’t congregate, just sit at their assigned table. Gananda only has 74 seniors and they’ll be able to bring guests.

For larger districts like Greece, adhering to these guidelines is more challenging.

“There’s some different things happening because we have four large high schools, so two of them will be doing something down at Frontier Field, there’s gonna be one that’s right at school under a tent,” said Greece superintendent Kathleen Graupman.

Live music or a DJ are allowed with certain restrictions, students can only dance without distancing with students in their designated table group, and everyone must be masked while dancing.

The superintendent of Gates-Chili schools, Christopher Bailey, said they’ll be holding one prom for everyone under outdoor tents next to the football stadium.

“They’ll have to stay with the same group, they’ll play two songs at a time then a five minute break. Those are the things we’re looking at, but preparing to have that, it’s an important rite of passage,” said Bailey.

Mahoney said Gananda’s prom is actually going to be pretty similar to the past years, aside from the testing. He said all students will be tested beforehand and will need to show a negative test or proof of vaccination to attend.

“We worked real hard with the kids to keep the year as normal as possible we could for them.”

The guidance also states the events are subject to inspection by state and local health authorities to ensure compliance.

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