Last year, as the pandemic was cutting loose in north-central West Virginia, Monongalia County’s school district canceled prom altogether.
This year, though, prom is back in Mon.
Mon’s three public high schools will hold prom three weeks from now, Deputy Superintendent Donna Talerico reports, but with no dancing.
“We have to respect the protocols,” Talerico said of the directives handed down by the state Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Resources, along with those from Mon’s health officials.
That means face masks and socially distanced seating at socially distanced tables for a sit-down meal, she said, and listening to your favorite tunes spun by a D.J., only with no cutting loose.
Morgantown High’s prom will be April 17 at the Morgantown Marriot at Waterfront Place.
The Erickson Alumni Center is the venue for University High’s prom April 24.
Clay-Battelle’s prom-goers will journey to Crystalline Events in Fairmont for their gathering May 1.
“It’s not quite going to be prom as we know it,” Talerico said.
And, it wasn’t easy to get to where it is now, she added.
It’s electric (maybe not)
Meeting last Tuesday in regular session, Mon’s Board of Education couldn’t help but chuckle a bit as Talerico retold the tale.
As it turns out, both the state Department of Education and DHHR were thinking about dancing and how one might be able to make it happen with, Talerico said, respect to the protocols.
Change “dancing” to dance.
Also known as the Electric Slide, Talerico said, may not have been all that electric for the prom of a Monongalia County high school in a pandemic year.
In terms of simple entertainment, that is.
That’s because one early plan allowed for the dancing of the Electric Slide, but only in staggered increments.
Tables, or groups of tables, would have been called to the dance floor. Then, when their dance was done, another table (or tables) would take their turn and so on.
Talerico allowed that one Electric Slide after the other may not have worked, though she appreciated the effort.
Even without the dance, Talerico is happy prom is making a comeback.
“We didn’t get to do this at all last year,” she said. “We just wanted to give our kids a prom experience, as best we could.”