Upstate school districts give high school seniors a new prom experience

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UPSTATE (WSPA) – Many Upstate school districts are preparing for proms, but some are still limited by the pandemic.

Anderson School District Five will have “senior only” proms. Both T.L. Hanna and Westside High Schools will use the Bleckley Station on separate nights.

“We’re excited that this year, unlike last year, we’re actually going to have a prom,” said Kyle Newton, Assistant Superintendent for Anderson School District Five. “It was very important for us to give them that opportunity to have a prom.”

“Obviously it’s not like proms of yester-year. It’s going to be a senior only prom. So there will not be juniors. A lot of that is for social distancing,” Newton said.

Social distancing will be in place and no outsiders are invited.

“They’ll be able to dance. There will be music. Obviously, you’ll be able to socialize. Probably one of the biggest differences that people would notice is food and drink. Everything will be individually packaged. So no more punch bowls,” Newton added.

Greenville County Schools will not have traditional proms.

“Well unfortunately, because of COVID-19, we were not able to offer proms as people know them,” said Tim Waller, Director of Media Relations with Greenville County Schools. “But because of all the safety concerns, especially where social distancing was concerned, we had to pull the plug on the basic notion of high school proms.”

Instead, they will have “Senior Night” or “Senior Events” at high schools across the district.

Waller said the events will be like a prom, but not exactly like one.

“I understand that Wade Hampton for example, they’re fashioning theirs very close to a prom. They’re going to announce a king and a queen, and present some senior awards that night,” Waller said. “We’re not going to have any dancing unfortunately.”

Each high school will allow seniors to attend the events in pod groups of eight.

“And we’re asking them to go ahead and dress up in formal prom attire if they want to,” Waller said.

Each pod will be socially distant and no outsiders are permitted.

“They missed football season. They missed homecoming, they missed pep rallies. They had no spirit week, and trying to find ways to make it as normal as possible,” said Ashley Lomax, organizer for the Mauldin Mom Prom.

Lomax and other parents created, “The Mauldin Mom Prom”.

“It’s just a group of us that wanted to make sure that our kids got one normal milestone of their senior year in high school,” Lomax said.

The Mauldin Mom Prom will be held at Zen in downtown Greenville.

“We’ll be at probably about 40 percent of their capacity. We do not require to wear masks. If the students feel more comfortable wearing one, they’re more than welcome to,” Lomax said.

Lomax said they will ensure students don’t congregate in large crowds, and they can invite outside guests. All dates must be 20-years-old or younger.

“We wanted to make sure that every single senior had the option to come to their senior prom,” Lomax said.

The Mauldin Mom Prom will be held on April 24, from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The group is raising funds for the event to happen. They will also use money from tickets to help. Tickets are $50. The Mauldin Mom Prom group has a Facebook page for more details.

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