The 2020-2021 school year has seen many changes as Pace attempts to keep traditions alive while following COVID-19 protocols. First football games, then Spirit Week and now prom have been adjusted to keep students and faculty safe.
On April 17, Pace will host prom here on campus in the upper gardens instead of the original location of the Fernbank Museum. The dance will last from 6 p.m. to 10:30 pm, complete with fun games like blackjack and a magic show. This year’s theme is “A Knight in Disguise,” a masquerade ball as a humorous spin on COVID-19 face masks. Students will don traditional masquerade masks in addition to the required face masks, despite the event being held outdoors.
One change specifically stirred discussion among the student body. No students from outside schools or underclassmen are allowed to attend Pace prom this year. Only juniors and seniors who attend Pace are allowed to go. In his announcement to the upperclassmen on Feb. 16, Head of Upper School Michael Gannon said that despite the disappointment of this change, it is an important safety measure in order to protect the Pace population.
Another change is that Pace will no longer host a large picture party for the student body. Instead of gathering as a school, students are encouraged to keep picture parties to a maximum group of 10. Regardless, students are welcome to snap pictures with friends at the event itself, as long as masks remain on.
Despite unfortunate circumstances, many students are just thankful that they even get to attend prom. After the cancellation of the 2020 prom at Ponce City Market, the 2021 prom will be the first and only for this year’s seniors. “Lots of other bigger schools can’t afford to host prom and those seniors will never even get to attend one,” said senior Sidney Funston. “So, honestly, I am very grateful that Pace is doing this for us, even though it will be different this year.”
The Prom Moms planning committee has a message for juniors and seniors: “We encourage everyone to stay until the end of the dance because we have a secret surprise planned.”
Top photo: The Class of 2019 poses together during 2019 Prom. Notice the lack of masks? Photo: Fred Assaf