Marion High School makes adjustments to hold prom during pandemic

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:41 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Like many students across the country, seniors at Marion High School didn’t get their junior prom last school year because of COVID-19.

“I remember we were like so excited because junior year is like the first year you get to go to prom and we were like planning everything out and then we went to spring break and we just never came back,” Gabby Foster, a senior at the school, said.

With masks on and social distancing enforced, students at Marion have been in-person for classes this year. But, the homecoming dance did not happen this fall.

“After they called off homecoming I kind of was just expecting this whole year to be virtual, honestly, and with face masks and pretty much distance from everybody,” Lauren Swanger, another senior at the school, said.

To Swanger’s surprise, it was recently announced that upperclassmen will be getting a prom this year.

“One of the things they’ve been in all of this is incredibly patient, incredibly kind, and even this, they were willing to do whatever and live with whatever restrictions and it just gave us you know the real push to make sure we do this for our students,” Greg Semler, principal at Marion High School, said.

The announcement immediately lifted the spirits of some students after a difficult stretch of time.

“Finding out that like we get to have a real prom and like grand march that we didn’t get last year is like super exciting,” Foster added.

To make the event as safe as possible, there will be two separate grand marches and two dances. One will be for juniors and the other for seniors, with a half-hour of cleaning time in-between each event. Each student can invite two guests to watch the Grand March, and it will also be live-streamed. Masks will be required throughout the night as well.

It’s anything but normal, but it’s exciting for students whose final high school years have been just that.

“I’m just grateful for my school being able to make those adjustments and kind of just taking the seniors in mind and the juniors, basically everyone and knowing that this year kind of sucked so giving us some type of normality in this year,” Swanger said.

“There’s many things in their life that they’re going to do that are enjoyable but prom is one of them and at least providing that opportunity is really I think, you know really important to this group of kids, all the things they’ve been through,” Semler said.

Marion’s prom will be held on April 10.

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