So, I contacted Gwinnett County Public Schools, the state’s largest district with 180,000 students, to ask about the prom at Paul Duke and its overall policy on proms during COVID-19. One out of 10 public school students in Georgia attends a Gwinnett school.
“This school is planning its event at Fernbank and students will sign up to attend the evening in shifts at different times. It will not be a traditional prom in that there will not be a dance floor,” said Sloan Roach, Gwinnett’s executive director of communication and media relations.
“Their prom experience will include the option for students to walk around the museum and take photos,” she said. “The school knows that not all of its seniors and juniors will opt to participate but did want to provide an opportunity for them to have a ‘prom’ night.’”
Roach said Gwinnett high schools are in the early stages of planning for proms. “While some have identified locations, others have not. Schools are prioritizing outside venues -- parking lots, stadiums, special events venues -- and some are considering splitting the evening to allow different groups to attend, holding more than one night of prom, or limiting the event to just seniors,” she said. “Masks will be required, and schools will include other safety measures.”
In talking to principals, Roach said, “Their goal is to provide these kids who have lost so much the opportunity to have a prom experience. The key here is that it is an option. Just as we offer families with the option of having their child attend school in-person or digitally, our schools are offering families a choice. We know that some may choose for their children to attend the prom and others will not.”
Is your district holding a prom this year? If so, under what conditions?