By Per Peterson
Add the prom to the list of things that were taken away from Tracy Area High School seniors this year.
Tracy Area High School on Tuesday officially announced that this year’s junior-senior prom will be canceled because of COVID-19.
The event had been rescheduled to July 18, but the decision to cancel was ultimately made because it would be essentially impossible to follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines at such a public and well-attended event.
“As I look at it with the guidelines and the number of people you’re allowed to have in a facility, I think it would be tough,” Tracy Area Public Schools Supt. Chad Anderson said.
School board member Jay Fultz said the feedback he has received from some of this year’s seniors indicate that not having prom wouldn’t bother them.
“They’re over prom,” he said. “They weren’t interested in doing it. They might like to do more of a bonfire or something easy, but a dance or having something really organized, they weren’t interested.”
“Realistically, I don’t see how it’s gonna happen,” board member Matt Surprenant said. “It wouldn’t be close to what a traditional prom would be anyway; I think (the students) have moved on.”
The decision to cancel prom was technically an administrative decision, but Anderson wanted to give the board a chance to share their thoughts and input on the issue. He said the seniors he’s talked to are at a point now where they’re focusing on what’s ahead in their lives and not dwelling on missing out on prom.
“You’ve got to look at the risk versus reward,” he said. “From what we can control (with social distancing) I think it would be wise to unfortunately cancel it this year and move forward with plans for next year. I think, for the most part, the seniors are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives, and (this year’s) juniors will have it next year.”
Aside from the board, Anderson used input from Principal Kathy Vondracek, the prom advisor and the prom committee in making the final decision.