MHS administrative staff working on the details of delivering a safe prom

Meghan Dincler | Online Editor

Lorri Fox Allen and Brandon Rompies discuss possible event options.

While the fate of the Mason High School prom is still uncertain, the MHS administrative staff is expecting to have to modify the event in order to comply with safety guidelines if they want to still host a dance or prom related festivities.  

After homecoming was cancelled, many Juniors and Seniors at Mason High School were hanging their hopes on getting to have that traditional prom experience. However, even with the announcement of a vaccine in its first stages of distribution, COVID is still looming over everybody’s lives, making it difficult to plan for a big dance as they have in years past.

Much has changed this school year, and the staff do not expect prom to be excluded. But in light of that, Assistant Principal Brandon Rompies and Student Activities Direction Lorri Fox Allen are working hard to ensure that students still get a chance to experience “moments that are meaningful, that students will remember,” as Allen said.

In order to give the students a “moment to remember,” Rompies and Allen sent out a form to Seniors at MHS and their parents. The form was intended to gather feedback from students themselves, allowing students to share their thoughts and opinions about the historical situation they are in. 

“Right now we’re in the process of gathering feedback – what do Seniors really want to have occur ideally, along with their parents – and some data to support that,” Rompies said. “We’re going through this process to make sure we’re designing things that students and their parents would be interested in, while also making sure they meet the safety guidelines.”

Allen seconded Rompies’ sentiment, agreeing that getting feedback from the students and their parents has been very insightful. She was grateful that people responded to the surveys, despite all of the complications this year has presented.

“We really appreciate the time the parents and students took to answer the surveys honestly,” Allen said. “We’re trying to take all of that into account; obviously we have a lot of people to answer to.”

On the subject of safety guidelines, Allen and Rompies have a lot of hoops to jump through as they work towards creating a night for students to remember. Taking into account possible restrictions from the school and guidelines from the Warren County Department of Health, Rompies has said that, “safety is going to be one of our top priorities.”

The staff’s main goal is ensuring that no Seniors feel like they are missing out on the important moments that they are going to remember for the rest of their lives. In order to keep this from occurring, plans to modify Senior events from previous years are slowly being drawn up. There are some events that are difficult to modify while still staying safe, but they are trying to make it as reminiscent of a traditional MHS Senior year as possible.

“I think there are some things we can definitely have happen,” Rompies said. “The Senior bike ride we can see occurring with masks being worn and maybe having staggered start times so the groups aren’t as big. [We may modify others] or if there’s an opportunity to create a new event that maybe we can do in a safe way we may try that. It won’t make up for it [traditional senior events] but there are some things we know we can’t do right now.”

Trying to appease the students and stay safe is a complicated task, and Rompies described it as finding “kind of a balance of it” while planning out possible options. Nothing is set in stone as of right now, but they wanted to make it clear that they are both working tirelessly to give Class of 2021 a year to remember – all this to say, the school will be throwing events – even if it is a deviation from what we have seen in the past.

“Our challenge is creating Senior moments for the Class of 2021 that are still these great moments, but doing it during a pandemic,” Rompies said. “We’ll keep safety in mind – that’s the challenge – but the goal is to create everlasting memories for Seniors, and make sure that they’re both safe and meaningful.”

Photo by Meghan Dincler