Dorchester Dist. 2 schools working on end-of-year celebrations, some proms still undecided

Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 2:43 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Some students and families in Dorchester District Two are still awaiting word on if they will have a prom and other year-end celebrations while the district works with principals to make plans.

For Ashley Ridge High School senior and Miss Summerville Teen, Gracelyn Gleason, prom is a long-awaited high school milestone.

“It’s our last hurrah as I like to say, it’s our last time to really be celebrated. Your senior year, this is a milestone, this is an accomplishment,” Gleason said.

It’s something upperclassmen missed last year because of the pandemic, making this year her final chance.

“They want to celebrate us, they want to have prom and they want us to have a normal graduation, but it’s just what’s the best way to do it safely?” Gleason said.

As of now, she says students at the high school have yet not heard about any finalized plans for prom or other year-end celebrations.

“But I’m really trying not to get my hopes up, but I really hope we get a prom,” Gleason said. “So, we are just kind of waiting to see if it will be released which, the entire senior class is really hoping it is because it should happen.”

This week, DD2 coordinators are working closely with school principals finalize safest plans for multiple events to celebrate students and staff.

“Principals, student leaders, and district staff have been exploring and developing preliminary plans outlining when events would be scheduled, and how they would be organized that allows flexibility to adjust detailed plans due to possible COVID-19 activity,” district officials said in a statement. “We are approaching this process with caution as the health and safety of our families and employees remain a top priority. Safety protocols should not be relaxed too prematurely as that could jeopardize our ability to have students in school, face-to-face, five days a week.”

Summerville High School has announced plans for prom at Omar Shrine Temple on June 11.

“I am excited to know that there is a date and there’s something to look forward to,” Summerville senior class president Samantha Smith said. “No matter what it looks like just knowing that we’re celebrated in a way that’s safe.”

Summerville High School Principal Kenny Farrell said planning celebrations in the pandemic is like a “moving target.”

“We want this prom, the senior activities, this graduation to be everything that they want and that they deserve,” Farrell said. “All three of us, the high school principals, have talked. We want to be optimistic, but we also know that we have to have COVID protocols and may have to adjust.”

Meanwhile, information has not yet been released for others like Fort Dorchester and Ashley Ridge High Schools.

“Dorchester School District Two appreciates the patience of students, families, and employees as we strive to provide students and employees the opportunity to celebrate these important milestones in their lives while protecting their safety,” the district said in a statement.

The district’s goal is for individual schools to let parents and students know about finalized plans for prom and other events before May 1.

Graduations for the three high schools are scheduled for June 18 at the North Charleston Coliseum.

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