Prom will go on for some South Dakota School districts

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Last year, many high school proms were canceled due to the pandemic. This year, the dance will go on in some school districts, including Tea, Harrisburg, and Dell Rapids. However, prom will look a little different due to COVID-19.

Dell Rapids juniors are decorating and preparing for prom this weekend. It’s something they didn’t expect to happen.

“It’s just like a huge opportunity because a lot of kids my age aren’t going to be able to have prom from other towns they are from,” said Dell Rapids Junior Rylee Rinehart.

These haven’t been easy decisions, but school officials say they’ve found a way to make it work.

“We just looked at times when we saw spread, we looked at how our kids are able to interact and stay healthy. And so knowing those things and knowing that our kids have been really good about the mitigation practices we put in place, we felt that we could safely hold prom,” said Dell Rapids Superintendent, Dr. Summer Schultz.

Prom and grand march will look different this year. Masks will be required.

At the grand march, community members will sit on the opposite side of students. Students can take photos with each other, but not the rest of the public. There will also be an area set up outside for photos.

Despite some changes, students are just relieved to be having a prom.

“I feel like it’s extremely nice because I know, ever since a little girl everyone’s like ‘I’ve always wanted to go to prom.’ Like it’s like something to look forward to, especially as juniors because like you get to decorate prom, you get to fundraise, you get to do all this kind of stuff. So the fact that we get to have it I think is just unbelievable,” said Rinehart.

For foreign exchange student Laura Prieto Rodriguez this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she is glad she doesn’t have to miss out on. In Spain where she’s from there aren’t proms.

“My sister went to prom because she was a foreign exchange student too, in Ohio and I think it’s a lot of fun and I’m excited,” said Prieto Rodriguez.

School officials know how much this means to the students so they feel confident it will be not only fun but safe night.

The Tea Area School District will hold its grand march and prom on April 17th.

Some changes include separating the grand march and prom. The dance will be held in the middle school gym, which allows for more space. Masks will be required.

Hand Sanitizer stations and bottled water will be available. School officials will also work with the DJ to try to do more spaced-out dancing.

“We just have to be careful, we may have to reassess in the coming weeks. Nothing is easy about this is kind of my saying with any of these decisions and we always have to look at a lot of different angles,” said Tea Area High School Principal Collin Knudson.

Harrisburg School District will hold its Prom on April 24th.

The high school principal says the decision came after multiple meetings with district administration, COVID teams, and medical experts.

“We wanted our kids to have the most normal experience we could possibly give them, given the circumstances. The senior class has had a lot taken away from them or a lot changed due to COVID restrictions and things like that. So to give them a night where they can come in and have some normalcy is something great,” said Harrisburg High School Principal Ryan Rollinger.

Grand march will be held in a separate area from the prom. Grand march will be live-streamed for the public to watch on the Harrisburg High School Youtube channel.

Juniors and seniors can attend Prom and can bring an outside date. As long as it is approved by the principal first. Masks will be required. Students will be temperature checked.

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