It may not look like the prom pre-pandemic, but Colorado students will likely be able to attend the traditional spring dance this year.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has published new guidance for holding safe proms. Among other things, schools are urged to host the events outside and create "prom pods" of 10 or fewer students. Students may also want to find masks to match their prom attire, the CDPHE said.
Even with restrictions, schools will have a lot more flexibility than last year. In April of 2020, Aurora Public Schools hosted a virtual prom broadcasted online and on TV. Students were encouraged to stay home and participate with their families.
High school students have been looking forward to events like prom and graduation returning for 2021.
"(Prom) is something you look forward to all of high school, especially because it's something special for juniors and seniors and we didn't get that last year," said Ralston Valley High School senior Jack Sommorwood.
Denver Public Schools spokesperson Winna MacLaren said DPS is working with CDPHE on prom plans, and waiting to hear more on graduation guidelines as well. JeffCo Public Schools spokesperson Cameron Bell said the district is taking proposals from schools and reviewing them on a case-by-case basis.
Some of the other suggestions listed in the CDPHE prom guidance include:
● Collect contact information of attendees through tickets, reservations, requiring RSVPs, or having sign-in sheets, and times of arrival and departure
● Consider two or more timed events to allow greater spacing while still allowing full participation
● Require masks
● Establish single-direction traffic flow in and out of venue and seating areas. Consider separate entrances and exits
● Enhance cleaning and disinfection of common touch points (doors, stairwell handles, light switch, elevator switch, etc.)
● Assign students to groups or pods of no more than 10 students, monitored by adult chaperones
● Limit students from outside of the community or school
● Complete temperature checks and health screenings at entrances to the event