Principal Opperman Announces Changes to This Year’s Prom


Benjamin Kutler

Some changes to this year’s Prom include requiring everyone to wear masks and changing the location to the football field.

COVID-19 has caused many cancellations and alterations to the school year, including all annual school dances being canceled leading up to this year’s Prom. Westside High School Principal Jay Opperman sent out an email on Sunday, Feb. 28, explaining the situation with Prom this year. Opperman announced that Westside will still have Prom this spring, but will take an altered approach. 

“We do intend to have Prom in some fashion this spring,” Opperman stated in the email.

In the email, Opperman said in order to reduce crowd sizes while still allowing all seniors and their guests to attend, Prom will be held outside on Phelp’s Field. 

“In order to de-densify the crowd and allow us to better follow [COVID-19] guidelines, we plan to open up Prom for all seniors to bring one guest,” Opperman stated. “Prom is now scheduled for Saturday, May 8th from 7:00-10:00p.m. outside at the North End of Phelps Field on the Westside campus.”

Opperman made sure to specify the limitations for juniors on this year’s senior-only Prom. 

“We will NOT be able to have juniors and [their guests] this year,” Opperman stated. “Juniors may attend only if they are asked by a senior. This will allow us to have a smaller crowd.”

Despite Prom being held outdoors rather than the typical location of Lauritzen Gardens, Opperman said masks will still be required at the event.

Senior Lily Goc said she isn’t in complete agreement with the recent changes to Prom. 

“Honestly, I think if it is outside on the field they could allow juniors to come just because people would be more spread out,” Goc said. “Since it’s outside I don’t think people would stay as long.”

Goc said she understands why they are making the changes.

“I also understand where they are coming from, and I’m not that mad about it because we didn’t get a Prom last year,” Goc said. 

Opperman also said in the email that there still could be changes to Prom scheduling. 

“We feel the need to further monitor how COVID continues to impact our school district and community throughout the next month,” Opperman said. “We also want to see how vaccines go in the coming weeks.  Any changes to the plan above will be communicated by April 6.”