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April 16, 2021

3/25/2021 11:20:00 AM
Prom in some form may be a reality at Highland

"We are trying to be as consistent as possible but this is a tough one," Highland Principal Josh Tarrell said to the district's school board during a discussion about prom at the regular meeting Wednesday.
Calling attention to a recently completed winter sports season the board felt letting other people in the gym for sporting events a prom could be a a possibility. But that did not mean the discussion was not lengthy.
COVID concerns are still there even though infection numbers are moving downward. Added to that, as board member Greg Biba pointed out, is the fact the students have missed out on so much over the past year anyway. At present, prom is scheduled for April 24.
The board left the prom decision in the hands of the administration with guidelines to be established and parents warned about the possibility of quarantine if active cases are discovered. The feeling was that there could be a coronation with people in attendance who could take pictures of the court followed with an announcement the dance would be starting at a certain time with the option to stay or leave.
Tarrell said he has discussed their plans for prom with other schools and what he found out what is happening is all over the board. He said schools are doing anything from full fledged prom to hybrid models to not having a prom.
"There is no consistent thing that anyone is doing," Tarrell said. "Proms are one of the events the CDC is not recommending but they did not support athletics and we got through that."
"How far would you have to go with this?" Biba asked mentioning waivers, temperatures being taken, etc. "No one asked for this stuff and I feel this district has gone above and beyond."
"If we go ahead with this and we have positive cases causing kids to miss games parents would not be happy," said Board President Mike Dreischmeier.
The board also discussed having an outside prom, weather permitting.
"If we do this it should be all or nothing," Board member Andrea Benish said. "You have to know the consequences going in and if you go you may be quarantined if someone gets COVID."
"Having a dance is taking a risk and parents need to know that in making a choice to attend," Tarrell said.
The board authorized Tarrell to proceed with planning and leave attendance decisions up to the parents.
Tarrell would like to see prom be offered for seniors this year also as their junior prom was cancelled due to the pandemic.
"We would probably have more people upset with not having prom than having it," said board member Todd Michek.
District Administrator Bryce Bird gave the board an update on the district's financial picture and gave them a list of payments that will be made on district debt.
He also discussed the district's insurance picture with their insurance consultant working on negotiations to keep the rates down....
(See the rest of this story in the March 18, 2021 Chronicle issue)

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