Clark, Champaign schools planning proms with safety guidelines

Molly and Grace Whetstone, Kenton Ridge Seniors. CONTRIBUTED
Molly and Grace Whetstone, Kenton Ridge Seniors. CONTRIBUTED

Several high schools in Clark and Champaign counties are planning to have prom next month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Some schools have details regarding their events, including health and safety guidelines, while others are still planning.

“We moved it to the end of the school year, hoping for less restrictions from the state,” said Northwestern Local Schools’ Superintendent Jesse Steiner. “Other than that, we are still working on the details.”

Northeastern Local Schools’ two high schools - Kenton Ridge and Northeastern - will host prom on two separate dates in the schools’ main gyms.

“We will be following all state, county health department and district guidelines. Masks will be worn at all times and we will not have food served,” said Northeastern High School Principal Todd Justice.

Senior siblings, Molly and Grace Whetstone, at Kenton Ridge High School have worked hard this year with student council, advisors and officers to plan prom.

“I’m really excited about prom this year. We put in countless hours, hard work and dedication to make it as perfect as it could be,” Grace said. “I’m excited to enjoy all of our hard work and be able to go and hangout with friends.”

Molly said they initially sent out a survey to get other alternative ideas because they didn’t think they’d be able to have prom this year.

“I’m excited to be able to dress up and see people. I think it will just lift some spirits before the end of the year,” Molly said. “We are doing a lot of things different this year. Instead of (normal) dances, we will do line dances. We will have games to do. Masks will be worn the whole time, there will be people moderating, and a 3-feet social distance.”

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Most schools will host prom inside, but Springfield City and Triad Local schools plan to hold their event outside.

Springfield will host their outdoor prom in front of the high school, and it will still require masks and COVID-19 protocols.

“We look forward to celebrating our seniors under the lights for one last time prior to graduation the following day,” said Patrick Smith, Springfield High School Lead Principal.

Triad will also host their prom outdoors, but specific details, including the location, are still being planned.

“We will follow all requirements in the latest Director’s Order such as masks, groups of 10 or less in one area, etc.,” said Triad Superintendent Vickie Hoffman. “We have decided to do prom outdoors after reading the guidance that was put out. It recommends having prom outdoors so we followed that guidance.”

Afton Osterholt, a junior on the prom committee at Triad, said she is “super excited” to be able to go this year since it was canceled last year.

Afton Osterholt, Triad Junior. CONTRIBUTED

Afton Osterholt, Triad Junior. CONTRIBUTED
Afton Osterholt, Triad Junior. CONTRIBUTED

Although Osterholt was a sophomore last year (sophomores aren’t allowed to attend prom unless they have an upperclassman date), she had planned to attend with her boyfriend who was a senior.

“My boyfriend is able to attend and get a little bit of his senior year back that was taken from him,” she said. “I feel horrible for last year’s seniors and how they got their end of senior year stripped away from them. I’m just happy that we are able to host a prom for this year’s seniors.”

As a member of the prom committee, Osterholt feels the seniors are happy to be able to have a prom this year.

“I believe this year’s seniors are very happy that we are able to have a little bit of that “normal” back into our lives,” Osterholt said. “I do believe they are sad about restrictions that will be put on at prom, as in masks and social distancing, but overall I believe that everyone is just happy to have something to look forward to.”

ExploreTecumseh High School to host prom, graduation outside this year

Several schools will still allow outside guests to attend their prom event, including Springfield, Kenton Ridge, Northeastern, Mechanicsburg, Triad and Urbana.

“Students will be able to bring students from other schools as long as they have appropriate forms filled out completely by the students attending from other schools,” said Kenton Ridge High School Principal John Hill.

Springfield will also allow invited guests in grades 10-12 from the same school or another school as long as permission slips have been submitted and signed by all guests and the school administrator, Smith said.

Clark and Champaign counties: Prom dates, times and locations

Clark County

Clark-Shawnee - May 8, 7-9 p.m. at the high/middle school

Greenon - April 17, 5-8 p.m. held in the high school stadium

Kenton Ridge - May 1, 8-11 p.m. in the high school gym

Northeastern - May 8, 7-10 p.m. in the high school main gym

Northwestern - May 15, time and location to be determined

Southeastern - May 1, time and location to be determined

Springfield - May 28, 7-10 p.m. in front of the high school

Tecumseh - May 22, 7-10 p.m. in the high school parking lot

Champaign County

Graham - May 8, 8-10:30 p.m. at the Urbana Christian Conference Center

Mechanicsburg - May 1, 8-11 p.m. at the high school

Triad - May 15, time and outside location to be determined

Urbana - May 1, 8-11 p.m. in the high school dining commons and gym

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