Prom (copy)

While students prepare for prom, schools are struggling with venues and dates in light of the state’s COVID-19 guidance.

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Last year, for obvious reasons, there was a distinct lack of year-end activities for Bellows Free Academy’s graduating class. Over the final few weeks of this school year, however, BFA staff and student council members aim to remedy that by putting on a large assortment of exciting events for current BFA seniors. This is being referred to as a BFA Senior Week.

According to MaryEllen Tourville, one of the teachers planning BFA Senior Week, the goal of the week is to, “celebrate [the] successes and achievements [of BFA seniors] and to give them a place to finally come together after a very disappointing last 14 months.”

To kick off this week of events, juniors and seniors will be able to enjoy one of BFA’s long-standing traditions: the junior/senior prom.

In light of the COVID-19 guidelines, there has been a lot of confusion over whether or not BFA would be able to have a prom this year. Originally, the day was just meant as a simple bonfire event.

Luckily, as social-distancing regulations have been adjusted, a prom will, in fact, be possible. It will be held at the Collins Perley Complex on June 5. The outdoor nature of this prom offers plenty of room, making it possible for students to keep a safe distance while still having fun.

Gov. Phil Scott has even noted that dancing will be possible, as long as students are wearing masks. Teachers have also incorporated aspects of the original plan for the event into the final product by making the prom fire/carnival themed.

Tourville explained that aside from the location, this prom will involve many of the same activities and features as previous years such as dancing, professional photography, a prom court, a DJ, refreshments and more.

Nathan Archambault, another teacher working on the event, noted that the BFA staff wants this to be “as much like a normal prom as we would normally see.”

However, this prom does have some notable changes. Keeping with the theme, there will be lawn games, glow sticks, fire dancers, carnival-themed snacks, prize giveaways and a huge bonfire.

“We really wanted to pull out all the stops for this prom, to get kids excited,” Tourville explained.

Archambault said that, in an effort to make it accessible for anyone who wants to attend, the prom will be entirely free for students and their dates.

Teachers are encouraging semi-formal attire, but students can truly wear whatever they wish.

“We want to give [BFA juniors/seniors] as big a celebration as we possibly can,” Archambault said.

This prom may not be quite the same as in past years, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a fun night. Or, at least, according to Archambault, that is what the goal is.

That idea of “different, but not worse” seems to be a common one among the prom planners, who want to give juniors and seniors the prom they deserve, even if things aren’t exactly normal right now.

Normal or not, there is currently a lot of hype surrounding this event. In the words of Tourville, “This is going to be the highlight of the year!”

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